Name: Ciinndey Wong
Business: Ladang Sari International Sdn Bhd, naturally brewed malaysian teas
Location: Selangor, Malaysia
Reason for starting: I love my country, Malaysia, very much. She has so many wonderful resources and yet many products and services are still obscure to the world. Why? Due to poor marketing and branding, poor packaging, etc. I have been in the health and wellness industry for the past 11 years. I started Rhymba Hills, which is a range of 100% natural Malaysian tea 3 years ago. My vision is to put Rhymba Hills on the global map, and to be known as the premium natural Malaysian Tea.
The food & beverage space is too crowded with tasty but sadly unhealthy choices. I envision Rhymba Hills to be the go to choice, when someone thinks of a tasty and healthy drink. I also want to start a culture where, Corporate Social Responsibility is a given when starting a company, and not done just for the sake of recognition. Sadly, many public listed companies do it for recognition, rather than for the intention of giving back to the society.
How do you define success? Success to me is when one has all the different aspects of life integrated. I do not believe in balance. I believe that one will go crazy trying to balance the different aspects of life – relationship, career, health, social, spirituality, etc. Integration to me is having a business that has gained great traction with healthy profits, the employees in the company are happy and aligned with company values and direction. I also think it is important to have quality time for myself (exercise, me time), friends and family as well as giving back to the community and most importantly feeling happy and fulfilled. Thus, integration means, when there is a need, I spend more time in a certain area, and less time in another area, without feeling guilty. This is because I believe we are here to make a difference, and it’s all about giving back and touching people’s lives with the skills and abilities we are blessed with.
Biggest Success: Appearing on the local media, and I am the go-to person for health and wellness, among friends. My business currently does retail. By early 2015, I intend to penetrate into the corporate sector with a different brand name of tea, using tea blends. My company also plans to take part in local trade shows and hopes to take part in foreign trade shows, sponsored by the Malaysian Government. We have penetrated into Singapore and Hong Kong, and we intend to have better distribution in these two countries. I intend to visit the world’s biggest tea fair in Long Beach California, USA in May 2015, to get better market insights on the world tea market. It will be my maiden trip to USA. And by the end of 2015, I hope to penetrate into Australian and European markets.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge was penetrating the global market, as Malaysia is not known for its herbal tea. I kept networking, attended trade shows, did cold calls until I met the right people who have access to Singapore and Hong Kong.
Who is your most important role model? My Father, for being a positive, determined person. He comes from a very disadvantaged background, and yet he worked his way up. He is also very supportive of my business.
Edited by The Story Exchange