After learning the benefits of natural antioxidant alkaline water, Jeffrey set out to build a thriving business in Singapore.
What’s your story?
I chanced upon alkaline drinking water about 10 years ago. At that time, our company was marketing R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) water which is similar to the PUB NEWater. When I discovered the benefits of alkaline water, I decide to switch over.
I felt guided into this industry. It is interesting, that within a short period of time, I was connected to the right suppliers in Korea and manage to launch the product under our own AOX brand. Everything seemed to fall in place at the perfect timing.
Fast forward 10 years, I am very grateful and excited about the industry. I have also become very good friends with my clients over the years.
What excites you most about your industry?
Data and results! We provide life-long support for our clients to achieve improved health through an annual health consultation.
In the early years, I was blessed to have a German medical doctor as my mentor. I went through intensive training with Dr Eddy Bettermann to be a certified Darkfield Microscopist to provide health screening for our customers. Through this health screening, we analyse the health conditions of our customers and show the impact of AOX water over the years. Through this data, many of them realise the health benefits and over time, recommend their families and friends to us. This is how AOX grew rapidly over the years.
I still get excited from interacting with my customers and seeing them getting healthier and younger. Many of them have become my close friends over the years too.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am true blue Singaporean and embrace Asian cultures as AOX works with regional partners for distribution and expansion. And I enjoy learning from all cultures as there is always something beautiful in each country.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I am a huge fan of Jakarta because I used to have a joint venture company there with a close friend. Over the years, he has become even closer to me than my siblings.
Personally, I find that businesses there are based on relationships. Through my interactions, I find the people there sincere and friendly.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My former boss once advised me not to over-borrow from the bank. They might be the one to destroy your business once they know that you are not in good shape. Grow your business within your means.
Who inspires you?
My father had a great influence on me. I grew up in a provision shop and I learned a lot from the way my father treated the customers with love, respect and always thinking of ways to be a blessing to them. He was a great example of a man of integrity.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Do not invest in any businesses that promise high return if they are not able to prove their source of revenue and profit.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I have made many mistakes in my early years. If I could live my life all over again, I would like to invest more time with my children and my parents.
How do you unwind?
I prefer to have a quiet time to read my Bible, seek God and pray. God is the source of my strength.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan. I love people, nature, scenery and food.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad and Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Shameless plug for your business:
Not all brands of alkaline water are the same. Choose AOX, the voted number 1 Multi-Award Winning Brand used by Istana, Prime Minister’s Office, 3 Hospitals & 4 Cancer Societies.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.