In the midst of this pandemic where businesses face the challenge of dealing with new behaviors brought about by emerging markets, certain attributes and core values come into play if we want to talk about thriving: creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
I’ve had the privilege to gain invaluable insights from a Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur who exhibits the traits most businesses continue to possess and have allowed them to adapt to these trying times. Her name is Nikki Tang, Founder of Beautypreneur PH and is currently dominating the beauty industry.
Let’s find out more about her, her businesses, her insights, and how she has managed to pivot during these challenging times whilst possessing the same attributes and core values she has maintained over the years.
Who is Nikki Tang?
First and foremost, Nikki is a devoted mom to her wonderful children. Outside of that, she is an ingenious businesswoman with a superb creative mind and entrepreneurial real spirit. She is dedicated, highly agile, focused and enigmatic in her work relationships and engagements. Nikki is highly philanthropic, extremely passionate about community and a super connector of similar like-minded professionals. Nikki’s business activities are driven with the power of her visionary mind, her formidable strength of character and her outstanding ability to negotiate a win-win situation. All of these contribute to her unique status as a true Beautypreneur, and whilst her achievements are many and varied, she remains humble, constantly striving to improve and reach new levels.
I believe that a person’s success means nothing if he or she does not advocate for things worth fighting for. And when you have something that is worth fighting for, and you are willing to do anything to fight for it; this is where grit comes from. You learn about grit by holding on, especially when you feel like giving up. Grit is that last sliver of strength inside you that keeps you from yielding, that keeps you fighting, and that keeps you going. Grit is the immense determination and perseverance to accomplish our goals and the passion to reach for the stars despite the obstacles. I believe that grit lives inside each and every one of us, but unleashes itself in different ways, when we allow it to.
What is she passionate about and what problems of today does she like solving?
Nikki is passionate in maximizing outputs and opportunities for her business. She is also dedicated to her team, she gets excited by problem solving, whether that be business improvement, adapting to the new challenges of the economic and environmental landscapes and she strives constantly to find a higher level of customer satisfaction and encompass by increased efficiency and effectiveness of her business.
I want to continue to revolutionize the beauty industry through constant innovation, research, and providing state-of-the-art technology and products that radiate health and beauty from within.
What was your journey like to get where you are?
I grew up in a conservative Filipino-Chinese family, and I am the oldest of six children. Being the oldest, I always felt pressure to live up to my parents’ expectations. We grew up in Chinatown in Binondo, one of the oldest and busiest Chinatowns in the world. It was the center of trade and commerce in Manila, so even as a kid I had exposure to the front-end and back-end of the business world.
I would work at our family’s hardware shop in Binondo where we socialized during our school breaks and on the weekends. I was taught how to maintain the stocks and the inventory. I would wake up early to work at the store instead of hanging around watching TV like the other kids. At a very young age, my parents instilled in me the value of discipline and hard work, making me understand that it is not easy to run a business, and harder to ensure that the business earns money.
Did you have any mentors? Who were they?
Firm and resolute female personalities raised me. My grandmother and my mother are very typical Asian women and very strong-willed. They also happen to be my greatest mentors. Each of them was able to balance the life of a mother, while also managing their business. Until today, they are still working and working.
Tell us more about Beautypreneur PH. Describe that a-ha moment when you knew it might actually become a success. What was the vision behind it?
Beautypreneur is a forward-thinking entrepreneur with a passion for all things beauty, well-being, and impacting the lives of others. Beautypreneur’s mission is always to exceed the expectation of our customers and provide beauty solutions that stand out from the rest of the market. In current times, Beautypreneur has evolved to encompass not just all things about beauty but to broaden our scope for wellness and health. Beyond the brand and image creation, the foundation for all of these is the super strong innovative and effective set of companies whose experience, knowledge and capability to reign supreme against its new and old competition.
Following my graduation, inspired by my family’s entrepreneurial spirit, it was natural for me to start my own venture. In the 1990’s, I started going into the dental care business but it was not easy and it meant two years of struggle before a top dermatologist told my mom about a breakthrough anti-aging product. My mom helped sparked my interest and journey into the business that I do now.
When she told me about it, my first thought was excitement and it dawned on me that this might be a better business opportunity than oral care. I knew that there was a need for anti-aging products. I realized that every woman in the Philippines would most likely want to know about this beauty secret. Then it hit me: there was room to disrupt the beauty industry. The prospect of breaking new ground challenged me. I felt that my mission was to make all Filipina women feel beautiful, confident, and empowered; similar to the feelings that made me feel good when I was “all dolled-up.”
I am proud to be part of a community and culture with significant strength coming from strong female leadership. The more I was able to discover products and technology, the more I was able to develop value to support the pursuits of the female community to help develop, grow and expand themselves in the concept of beauty and wellness. It became really apparent to me that this concept deserves its own unique brand and style. This concept has been welcomed as part of the lifestyle of Filipinos. Strong products and services take on a life of their own and have a place in our society.
Therefore, Beautypreneur was born and remains today a key value creation for DMark Beauty and DermAsia Corporation. Nothing makes me more proud to be able to establish a foothold for our company in the lifestyle of our female community.
You have two other businesses, DermAsia and DMark Beauty, and both are in the beauty sector. Tell us more about these businesses.
Taking a chance led me to where I am today, the CEO of DMark Group of Companies, composed of DMarkBeauty and DermAsia Corporations. I identify myself as a beautyprenuer: an entrepreneur in the industry of beauty products and sciences that is always on the lookout for the latest innovations. As a beautypreneur, I focus not just on the business of aesthetics, but also on the business of empowerment. Women empowerment is one of my personal advocacies. I like to think that the beauty business is also a form of empowerment for women. By providing innovations, solutions, and technology that can enhance the beauty of women, women become less afraid and less self-conscious about themselves. They gain confidence.
As I have learned for myself, self-confidence is an important tool in recognizing our worth as women and caring where we want to be in our life. I see this as my calling as I deal with the challenges of being a woman.
Let’s face it, all businesses regardless of industry have been greatly affected by the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19. How is Beautypreneur PH thriving in this new normal brought about by the pandemic? What insights can you share to those who are still in the transitioning stage?
In my opinion, the word transformation is overused. And in the case of the new normal post-pandemic, I prefer to stimulate my business more in terms of reinvention and rejuvenation. We have to recognize that the level of change is significant. And for people and business to be successful in this new era, they need to truly encompass and pivot their organizations to the changing demands and scenarios upon us.
Pivoting our client engagement, business processes, supply chains, communication and fulfilment methods to embrace the fears of our consumers to challenge the economic crises and the change in our routes to market are crucial. Innovation, business model, creativity and flexibility to cater for existing and changing markets will truly differentiate between those businesses who thrive and those who struggle to survive.
Any business is only ever as good as the sum of the whole of its team, and remembering that our employees are also experiencing a major period of change and insecurity is critical. Creating an environment for them to feel safe and motivated to go that extra mile as the organization changes and evolves should not be underestimated. My advice at this stage is to be bold, be brave and be brilliant.
Marketing in Asia loves insights shared by business owners regardless of industry. What advice can you give in terms of business and/or marketing to those who plan to start their own in this new normal?
Prospect and customer outreach, with consistency and quality is extremely important to differentiate. Consumers contend to be overloaded with online communication. So, creating messages that stand out with compelling offers and with simplicity of fulfilment in a safe and secure manner will bring growth and difference. Understanding how to keep strong relationships through times of social distancing has never been so important for connectivity, influence, strength and stability.
Creating strong brand presence, enhancing word of mouth, and delivering innovation are all key formulas in creating the levels of confidence in the consumer base. And giving prospects to customers a feeling that you truly understand the change in their needs and requirements while making them feel safe that they are working with the trusted source has never been more prominent than now. Understanding our product messaging needs to be adapted for the change in people’s needs forms a critical part of any companies, groups success and whilst budgets remain a challenge, simple, clear and confident messaging will bring strong results.
What is important to Nikki, the founder at the moment in this new normal?
There is nothing that compares at this time to ensuring the physical and mental well-being of our families, friends and colleagues. Most, if not all of us have had our own challenges during these very challenging times and it should not be underestimated that the effect of the last few months will last for many months to come. It is also super important for us to retain balance as we now have the ability to begin functioning closer to what we have in the past, and ensuring that we are sensible and cautious is fundamental.
My advice is to not get too down or too high as we navigate the ups and downs that businesses will face when dealing with unknown future circumstances. Evolve with all your strategies, stick to your force, and keep the courage of your conviction even when you may feel things may not be going so well. Keeping your faith, believing in your team, and having a strong heart will win through any situation. It is however critical not to just return to the old ways. Remember, to reinvent and be agile to change the landscape. As a leader, it is paramount to be future-ready and be future fluent by constantly reviewing and planning about the company’s future, becoming tech-friendly and promoting diversity.
What I learned from my experience and from other people as well, is that being a good leader requires hard work, and that communication is key to building work relationships. I learned that leadership requires being open to constant learning, keeping abreast of innovation, and being able to adapt to change. In addition to this, leadership requires being honest with yourself.
When it’s all over, how would you like to be remembered?
Many people believe that a CEO must be flawless; that a person who is leading a big company must be perfect to a t. Business leaders face the same adversities and struggles as other people do. After all, we are all human and prone to vulnerabilities. But it is not the failures that we should fear; it is not our mistakes or our missteps. We always tiptoe around these things as if they could push us off course, and it is true, they can. Inevitably, the lessons we learn from our mistakes push us to soar higher.
I have been a CEO for most of my life, but the road was not always perfect. I would like to feel that I made a difference. That I helped and supported those in need, that I showed true leadership to those who were struggling and that my business is able to remain relevant and ultimately become more important and cherished in its marketplaces.
Eventually, we should all be remembered for showing compassion, understanding, love and devotion to those who matter to us and to be confident that our spirits were not broken during these incredibly difficult times. I want to ensure that my business is set-up for success in a way that whatever is thrown at in the future, it will come through with grace and style.