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Traditional medicine entrepreneur
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in England and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you?
Discovering new medicinal products has given me so many life experiences I’ll never forget. During the inception of our ginseng product line, I travelled to Korea and worked with the local government, entering the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone in search of the best ginseng. There, I discovered first-hand the wonders of this prized herb, seeing farmers cultivate ginseng in one of the world’s most secretive terrains. To this day, Wai Yuen Tong’s Ginseng line remains one of our top sellers, from our immune-boosting six-year- old Korean Red Ginseng to our Ginseng Energy Plus+ wellness drink, which is popular with our younger clientele.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I was always passionate about popularising traditional Chinese medicine among the younger generation and, more recently, our furry friends too! I’m a big believer in finding holistic, natural ways of treating ailments. That is, targeting the root of every health problem with natural ingredients, sourced from the best origins and free of side effects. To date, we have 57 Chinese medicine practitioners (CMPs) across all of our Wai Yuen Tong outlets, one of the largest CMP teams in Hong Kong. It’s our combined passion that drives us and satisfies our customers every time.
What was your first big break?
My first big break would be launching our new pet brand, ProVet. Foraying into the pet market, my vision was to revitalise and harness the heritage of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for dogs and cats. Our Cordyceps Cs-4, for example, was very popular among our human customers and we wanted to replicate that for our four-legged clients. Disrupting the market is what ProVet aims to do. One of the only TCM pet product lines out there, our natural pet supplements have been formulated by a professional veterinary team with more than 11 years of expertise. Customers truly appreciate our products being tailor-made to specific health needs and ages, whether it’s Bones & Joints for dogs or Anti-Aging for cats.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
This year, which has been a challenging one. It’s been tough continuing our daily operations during this time. But on the bright side, we’ve also seen a huge interest in the wellness industry, as consumers turn their attention to keeping healthy and maintaining their wellbeing, whether it’s for themselves or their pets!
Whom do you look up to and why?
My role models are my parents, who remind me to work hard, stay humble, stay grounded and never forget the importance of family.
What are the values one needs to “make it”?
Devotion, dedication and determination. I think these three words really sum up the true values for one to succeed.
What are you most proud of?
As a new mother, I’m proud of myself for trying to maintain a work-life balance. I’m grateful for having a supportive husband, family and a wonderful team at work.
What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don’t expect to get it right the first time — that’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve received from my mum. She reminded me that it’s OK to make mistakes — we should learn from them and see them as a way of improving.
How has it been for you during the past months?
The pandemic took a toll on our retail business, but our team was quick to shift to a digital strategy that’s proven to be successful.
What’s next for you?
As a major sponsor and partner of the SPCA, we’re working on several upcoming animal welfare projects. We’re excited to be launching our 2021 pet superstar calendar soon in support of the SPCA, which features the pets of Hong Kong’s favourite celebrities and socialites.
Location: Mont Rouge, Kerry Properties