These SG Beauty Bosses Are Conquering The World Despite The Pandemic

First Singapore, then the US, China, Germany, Dubai, UK, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia…

Singapore’s beauty mover and shakers: (from left to right) Shinji Yamasaki of Re:erth, Johanna Monange of Maison 21G, Nerissa Low of Liht Organics, Patsy Ong-Hahl of DrGL, and Nicolas Travis of PSA.

Singapore is small, and one of the best ways for a home-grown brand to expand is to conquer the world, through e-commerce, physical retail, or both. These five beauty companies – established and new – are doing just that, pandemic be damned. Some have even planned for global domination right from Day One.

Founder: Nerissa Low

The brand: The home-grown organic makeup brand prides itself on high-performance, good-for-skin cosmetics. Its products are available on its SG website, and at Astique the Aesthetic Clinic.

The strategy: Just six months after its March 2019 launch, Liht Organics entered the Middle East. It’s a market that founder Nerissa Low describes as “a dream” because of its large pool of avid cosmetics users and eye for high quality products.

The brand signed a three-year deal with Lulu Hypermarket, one of the Middle East’s biggest retailers, rolling out in 21 stores across major cities in the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in 2019. Liht Organics’ 17- location launch at Lulu in the UAE did so well that the retailer offered to almost double its presence in other outlets within a month.

The plan was that, by end 2020, its products would be launched into 200 Lulu locations in the region. “However, because the coronavirus greatly disrupted interstate and international logistics and operations, those plans were shelved indefinitely,” says Low.

So, the brand turned its attention to e-commerce overseas. “Not being able to take corporate trips gave us more bandwidth to sharpen our e-commerce operations. This allowed us to achieve greater international reach with a lower capital injection, as physical retail is extremely costly,” she says.

Liht Organics set up its Middle East website in August this year, with products shipped to customers from its warehouse there. Low says: “In terms of profitability, our e-commerce sales more than make up for the expected profits in the first year, should we have gone ahead to launch physical stores.”

Liht Organics is also available on Sprii, the region’s top shopping platform for mother and baby products.

The brand recently launched on China’s mega retail platform, TMall Global. Low says: “Seeing how fast China bounced back from the pandemic made me realise the importance of being present in different markets.”

What’s next: Low says listing on Amazon Middle East is in the pipeline.

The brand is also already creating new market-specific products for different countries, so that it doesn’t end up hoarding stock that may not be as popular in those markets.

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