Nadia is a highly motivated working professional, holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, one of UK’s top business schools. Experience across South East Asia, Europe and South America in both client facing and internal consultancy roles, coupled with a detailed understanding of strategy and business development. Have experience in telecommunications and engineering and has started a venture in women’s fashion since July 2013.
What exactly is Liquido?
Liquido is one of the top beach and fitness clothing brand in Brazil.
How did you come up with the idea of Liquido?
There’s a lack for fashionable beach and fitness clothing in Malaysia. Having lived in São Paulo, Brazil for 2 years, I saw how popular the brand is among locals and I fell in love with Liquido the moment I saw and tried it on.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Liquido?
Being so passionate as a customer while in Brazil, I had the chance to met with the owners and they agreed to let me bring Liquido into Malaysia. Together with my partner Chua, we first started testing the water by selling the items through Zalora and the results were very positive. That was enough to make us believe that it was a feasible business. I returned back to Malaysia, opened our own website (www.liquido.com.my) and sales have been constantly increasing from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
How has it been like managing the business since?
It has been difficult because we have no experience in fashion retail. In addition, as a new brand in this part of the world, we have to try different means to drive brand awareness. Everything is by trial and error. But it has been a fun process all in all where we continuously learn and improve.
Did you find anything particularly difficult during the startup? How did you overcome it?
Introducing a new brand into Malaysia. Most people stick to brands and things that they are familiar with. To overcome this problem, we did various online and offline campaigns including getting celebrity endorsements, Miss Bikini competition, Instagram photo submission, etc to get people expose and familiar with the brand.
How was the initial reaction from the consumers? Did they buy into the product/service?
Reaction has been very positive, not only from Malaysia but neighbouring countries like Singapore and Brunei. Feedback was that our product is allows customers to express themselves, very high quality, durability and yet very comfortable. For active women, comfort is very important.
It is very encouraging for us that lots of our customers do repeat purchase.
Do you face a lot of competition in this industry? What is your strategy against your competition?
There’s hardly any competition because most of the beach and fitness clothing in Malaysia is functional and not fashionable. It helps that Liquido products are reasonably priced.
Of course there will always be alternative choices from the established sports brands, but our designs differ greatly and allow our customers to express themselves. Furthermore, there’s a high degree of personal touch and communication to each of our customers.
What can you tell us about the industry? Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
The fashionable fitness attire industry is growing in Malaysia and around the world. Most women are willing to pay up to USD100 (or more) for a pair of lycra leggings if they think it is ‘cool looking’ or worth it.
How have you managed to stay relevant in this industry?
We continue to excite customers by having new designs every season.
We are in a growing industry, so we are currently riding the wave but being mindful that patterns may change in the industry, we constantly communicate not only with our customers but also our principle to know what is trending in other countries.
What are your future plans for Liquido? (The Long Term Plan)
We will continue to expand our presence and potentially bringing in more range of products.
Moving forward into the future, having our own retail stores is a possibility.
If you could start all over again, would you change anything about your approach? If so, what?
Wouldn’t change a thing really… everything lead up to where we are now.
What do you think about startups in Asia? (Your opinion)
Still very young. There are some good ideas out there but it is hard to filter the noise. The government of Malaysia seem to be trying their best to support by starting up organisations like the CRADLE who give out grants to entrepreneurs. However, many are chasing new technologies, big data, apps, and all the big buzz words while forgetting that there are still opportunities in retail, distribution and selected segment of e-commerce.
What are some personal principles or personal values that guide you and your career?
What is your definition of success?
Achieving personal and professional goals
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Because I found something I was passionate and truly believe in that will bring value to the masses.
What do you think are the most important things entrepreneurs should keep in mind?
Creating value, solving a problem, providing excellent service and caring about customers.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
Passion and perseverance
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there?
I believe that value creation is the key to sustaining your business.
Facebook: Liquido Malaysia