Hairol Ariffein Sahari

CEO, Halal Development Corporation Malaysia


Hairol Ariffein Sahari is the Chief Executive Officer of Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC), an agency under the purview of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI), established to serve as the custodian of Malaysia’s Halal economy and to spearhead the development of Malaysia’s integrated and comprehensive Halal ecosystem and infrastructure.

Hairol Ariffein hails from the royal state of Johor in the south and holds a Degree in Biotechnology from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), a leading research university in Malaysia. He is an Associate Fellow of Malaysia’s eminent management university, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) (2021) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Malaysia (CILTI) (2022).

His career and experience spanning two decades is dedicated to serving in industry development initiatives lead by the Government, commencing with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in 2003, as an Assistant Director responsible for investment promotional activities and industrial support services. In 2005, he served with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), a Government agency responsible for implementing initiatives under the National Biotechnology Policy 2005 - 2020 to develop and promote Malaysia’s biotechnology industry.

Hairol’s success in BiotechCorp paved the way for his next career, as a pioneer team member in the Northern Corridor Implementation Agency (NCIA) to establish, oversee and promote the economic and social development of Malaysia’s Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) initiative. He commenced his service with HDC in 2010 and specialized in project planning and monitoring of Government developmental programs for the Halal industry.

Key strategic initiatives successfully implemented by Hairol include the development of a National Halal Policy, implementation of the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 and establishment of Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Council (HIDC) in 2020. These accomplishments and his strong commitment to HDC saw him rise in rank to the position of Chief Executive Officer in 2021.

He sits in the Halal Research and Development (R&D) Commercialization Fund Approval Committee managed by the Government agency, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) and serves as mentor, facilitator and advisor to university students and residents in UPM’s CEO@PTJ Program. He is also the Advisory Council Member of Malaysia Institute of Transport (MITRANS) UiTM. In November 2021, Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (MUIS) appointed him as a Committee Member of MUIS Halal Hub, to spearhead the development of Shariah Compliant Guideline for the local micro and small enterprises in halal industry.

Hairol is an avid cyclist, a dedicated, loving father of two and has completed the Master of Business Administration Program under Asia School of Business (ASB), which is a collaboration program between the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) and prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, United States of America.