There are 2 key pillars that need to change for a more widespread adoption of healthy eating. The first is price, the second is ease of access. Great to see Sabine working to make fresh, healthy food as easy to get hold of as the unhealthy stuff.
What’s your story?
I am a Dutch girl, born and raised in Geneva, who moved to Singapore in September in 2012 as my husband got a new posting there. Prior to starting my own company I worked for 5 years for the World Economic Forum (WEF) as Associate Director in their headquarters in Geneva. In 2011 I moved to New York to set up the Business and Development Engagement department there. During this time I was responsible for all external communications with partners and participants of the WEF and WEF meetings (Annual meeting in Davos, Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China to name a few). I studied Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the UK at Royal Holloway; these were great years!
After a trip in Burkina Faso in 2009, I created a foundation in Switzerland called “Kaicedra” with 4 friends. The foundation built several class rooms over the years, which today welcome over 300 children. In addition, Kaicedra encourages soft mobility by subsidizing bicycles for women and children. Our yearly budget is 200’000 CHF.
Now I am working full time for my company, Sabine’s Baskets, a rising and promising e-commerce platform. My company delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to offices and households. Oh and I recently became a mum to a baby boy.
What excites you most about your industry?
Time works for me. Fruit and vegetables get consumed or fade away. They need “replacement”, which is to my advantage. Fresh products is the fastest moving consumer good. Although fruit and vegetables are a commodity, making sure it is good quality, and providing households with adequate stock is constitutive of a business model. Our company answers that need by delivering fresh baskets from the market to households or even offices, keen to have good products in their kitchen, or their pantry, respectively.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I moved here following my husband who was placed in Singapore. I found it was the best opportunity to create my own company, gain knowledge and experience running it. Building a company from scratch in a new country is a great way to understand the culture of the new place better, and trigger some excitement.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
In my field, definitely Singapore! Very little traffic jam, and little accessibility to and attractiveness of wet markets (closed on after-noon, little parking, many stalls, often no price on shelves, and no air-conditioning.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Who inspires you?
My dad, who started a company from scratch with his brother in the 70s, my sister in Law, who works for the UN on the humanitarian front.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Aeroponics! One can grow green vegetables without fertilizers or pesticides underground with controlled temperature and light in a safe and efficient environment. We’ll be featuring aeroponic salads in our baskets very soon.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d go to architecture school.
How do you unwind?
I get on a hammock with my son in the garden and we swing the hype and the stress away.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Nikoï Island off Bintan and Langkawi. Short flights / trip from Singapore, magnificent sceneries, and lovely people.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Any Agatha Christie: you’re never sure how it’s going to end!
Shameless plug for your business:
For the freshest and healthiest produce delivered straight to your door come to www.sabinesbaskets.com. One thing less to worry about and more time to spend on what makes you happy! We’re happy to give all AsianEntrepreneur.org readers 20% off you order- use the code: AsianEntrepreneur.org at checking out.* valid until end of May 2015.
How can people connect with you?
Email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SabinesBaskets
Or order online at www.sabinesbaskets.com
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
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