Malaysian Queen of the Durian Business – Anna Teo of Hernan Corporation
April 12, 2020
Anna Teo was an air stewardess but she had a business mind. It wasn’t easy being a woman with a business mind and a former air stewardness when she first ventured into the men’s trading world in 1996. She subsequently started to export whole durians reading the market right that there was a demand overseas for the Malaysia’s King of Fruits. She expanded downstream into unique durian products under Hernan Corporation Sdn Bhd. For example her Musang King durian mooncake became a bestseller in China and in countries where there is a huge Chinese population.
Anna Teo remembers the difficulties that she had to overcome to build up a RM40 million plus durian business under Hernan Corporation. “It wasn’t easy at all,” she said but she refused to let her gender fail her. Twice she walked away with her head held high as the Gold award winner for Best Global Market at the SOBA (Star Outstanding Business Award) in 2016 and 2017. Anna Teo has certainly come a long way.
Hernan Corporation used to be located in Taman Perindustrian Jaya in the Ara Damansara area but since 2019 it has shifted to its new manufacturing facility in Taman Industri Alam Jaya, Bandar Punchak Alam, Selangor. Ii is one of Malaysia’s largest durian and durian products exporters.
In October 2019, Navis Capital Partners, an Asia-based private equity firm, invested in Hernan Corporation. Nicholas Bloy, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Navis Capital said that Navis is prepared to invest up to RM400 million in Hernan Corporation to support a large capacity expansion for the production of the durian paste, durian puree and the finished products (mooncake, ice cream, chocolate and other durian flavoured confectioneries).