KUALA TERENGGANU: He began by selling a small batch of bottled ikan bilis (anchovy) sambal made from a family recipe.

Soon, from 100 bottles it burgeoned to 80,000, with ex-national footballer, Hairuddin Omar, 42, admitting that he never dreamt that what he was doing out of pleasure would become a hit.

The brand, DuoBotak, was launched with another former national footballer, Mohd Badhri Mohd Radzi, in April this year.

Hairuddin said he was proud of the way his product has helped 300 people earn an income as sales agents after being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm extremely grateful that the product using a family recipe has been well-received and has helped many make some money," he said, while adding that it required zero or little capital.

He said he merely used social media to advertise his RM25 jarred product which is available in two varieties -- sambal bilis (anchovies) and sambal bilis petai (anchovies and bitter beans) -- and a weight of 475g.

"The product is prepared using high technology at a factory that has a halal certificate from the Department of Islamic Development, Malaysia (JAKIM) and MeSTI food safety certificate from the Ministry of Health, Malaysia (MOH).

"This translates as high quality in terms of taste and hygiene, as well as the product having a long shelf life of one year," said Hairuddin.

He said that DuoBotak has even penetrated the Singaporean market and a new product will be launched in two months.