Our Story

Mr Eric Tan & Kara Arissa Tan of Masterdon & ZHEN

Eric Tan

The Barter - 1971

The ZHEN heritage was started back in the early 1970s by Mr. Eric Tan in Singapore. Our humble beginnings started at a brick-and-mortar lifestyle provision store before Mr. Tan found himself entering into barter deals with Indonesian businessmen, where he would receive Bird's Nests in exchange for his products.


The Leap - 1986

The demand for Bird's Nest back in the day was so high that it far outweighed the supply in the market. Hence, there were cases of adulteration where numerous suppliers tried to take advantage of the situation by using unorthodox cleaning methods like bleaching the Bird's Nest to maximize profits.

Eric knew he had to bridge these concerns with his customers. Though the stakes and risk were so great, he decided to take a leap of faith by setting up his local factory in 1986. The factory in Singapore was built to facilitate the cleaning of the raw Bird's Nests that he had been getting from his suppliers to ensure that they were not adulterated and to reassure his customers that they are getting only the purest.

Kheng Huat Emporium workers picking bird's nest
Masterdon Jakarta Bird's Nest workers

MASTERDON Jakarta,Indonesia

The Expansion - 1989

As he grew to become one of the most prominent and influential suppliers of Bird's Nest in Southeast Asia, Eric decided it was time to expand his business. He dreamt of being the industry leader of the trade and maintaining his commitment to his customers by providing only the best in the market.

The way he saw his dream a step closer to fulfillment was to construct his own Bird's Nest houses in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. This move further improves the quality of his yield as he could have complete control over the sustainability, environment, and harvesting of the Bird's Nests.

Masterdon Swiftlets Resources Pte Ltd

The Innovation - 2009

As the Bird's Nest industry grew, there was an influx of new businesses and competition. Many companies had to move their operations abroad to stay competitive. In 2009, Eric was determined to keep their business local. To compete with more prominent organizations, he bought a standalone food factory to consolidate his operations, and Masterdon Swiftlets Resources Pte Ltd was incorporated.

Located at 48 Senoko Drive, Singapore, the factory was designed & constructed with innovation & modernization in mind. The production line is equipped with Europe's most advanced automated machinery to manufacture bottled Bird's Nest. Stringent monitoring and quality control systems were also introduced to ensure every product is always delivered to his clients at the finest.

Masterdon Swiftlets Resources Pte Ltd
Masterdon group Bird's nest workers

Masterdon and the associates

The Group - 2011

By 2011, Masterdon and the associates ("The Group") are the proud owners of 27 Bird's Nest houses across SE Asia – with 14 in Indonesia, 8 in Malaysia, and 5 in Thailand. In addition, Masterdon has four bird's nest processing workshops and a workforce of over 1,000 workers.

The group ensures supply chains are more resilient and less likely to be disrupted. In addition, every incoming supply of goods goes through Masterdon's very own process of cleaning & quality check before it is scheduled for delivery to its clients. ISO 22000, HACCP, and HALAL certifications are testimonials to their credentials. 



Kara Arissa Tan, the second generation of the Tan family, took the reins of managing the business and pursuing the family's dream. As a result, ZHEN was born to distribute the family's house brand of Premium Dried & Bottled Bird's Nest along with other Bird's Nest related products.

Arissa continues to uphold the family's principles of quality control, compliance, and sustainability while running the daily operations of the Bird's Nest Houses, the factories, and the online store. She is eager to continue her father's legacy while making a successful brand of her own. Arissa will always commit to the family's passion for ensuring their clients receive the best the market has to offer.

Kara Arissa Tan Zhen Prestige