We know the days when we are feeling low and a bit lost while we work towards our success. Here are some motivating thoughts from 4 Asian Women who are shaking up traditional industries:

Esther Nguyen

Before there was something like Spotify, people had a hard time getting access to their favourite music and other forms of media. With the help of the Internet, one can then explore the music downloading scene and even illegal downloading or piracy, but at the risk of getting different sorts of spams and viruses. Instead of a problem, however, Esther Nguyen saw this as an opportunity.

Esther Nguyen
Source: techinasia.cpm

How she broke the glass ceiling

 Nguyen was born to Vietnamese parents but was brought up in the United States. It was there that she delved into her first business venture, particularly selling cosmetics online, which did not work out. After that, she also explored green technology, but back then, investors were not very much interested in this either; little did she know then that her future success was in the combination of media and tech industries.

After pursuing a law degree, she could not help but put her entrepreneurial skills to test once more. This time, she studied the market in Vietnam and saw this problem in the media in the country. This gave her the idea to start Pops Worldwide.

Initially, her parents were not very pleased with the idea of Esther going back to Vietnam. As her  mother snapped at her, “Your dad and I spent everything to get the family over to the US, and now you’re going back?” Today, however, she proves that it was a risk worth taking; the said company now owns the license and distribution rights of up to 90% of the music in Vietnam, making it the biggest company of its kind in the nation. The business has also expanded to developing mobile apps.

This entrepreneur proved to us that even though you don’t have to come up with the newest ideas, what matters is to know when an opportunity arises and to take it. And sometimes, you don’t need to be the most innovative; as Pops Worldwide has shown, a little mix and match here and there can turn out to be a booming success.

Sylvia Yin

4 Asian Women Shaking Up Traditional Industries
Source: techinasia.com

Online shopping has been around for a while, but with enormous websites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba, who would have thought that you can still come up with a competitive startup in the said industry? But this was a challenge that Shoppr co-founder Sylvia Lin was ready to take on, and it turns out to be a good thing for her career and finances.

How she broke the glass ceiling

 Instead of having to download or visit various apps and websites for the different products or brands you purchase online, the young Malaysian entrepreneur, together with a colleague, took it upon herself to develop an app that would make people’s online shopping experience easier and faster. The way she sees it, “reducing the number of buttons drastically increased all-time clicks on the remaining buttons.” And that is exactly what made Shoppr the successful app that it is.

Drawing inspiration from the swipe technology of the dating app Tinder, the app has a behaviour learning algorithm which comes up with relevant results and suggestions based on your previous searches, likes, and personal bio. Therefore, the more you tap and swipe using the app, the more accurate your searches get. Talk about mutual benefit, right?

Qing Ru-Lim

How can a woman be a successful entrepreneur in Singapore? Maybe Qing Ru-Lim, one of the co-founders of Zopim, can enlighten you on the matter. People already had all sorts of websites and applications for instant messaging since late 90’s to early 2000’s such as Yahoo! Messenger and MSN, and later, with smartphones came apps like Viber and Facebook Messenger. But Lim’s company chose to specify their target audience – businesses.

4 Asian Women Shaking Up Traditional Industries
Source: herworldplus.com

How she broke the glass ceiling

A philosophy undergraduate from the National University of Singapore, Lim had no plans of following the footsteps of her seniors who became public servants. As she explored the underground start-up scene in the university, she met the four engineers – Qing Ru met Royston Tay, Wu Wenxiang, Kwok Yang Bin and Julian Low – who developed the idea of Zopim.

Zopim is not like any other instant messaging apps; it aims to caters to businesses when it comes to communication and enables them to provide real-time customer service to their clients. When they decided to pitch their idea to Silicon Valley investors, the men decided to let Lim represent them. Impressed by her can-do attitude, the four decided to let her join in as a co-founder.

It was not an easy journey for the five young entrepreneurs. It took them 7 years to develop, and in that span of time, they had to survive on a mere $500 salary;having considered that, it is not surprising that Lim thought it to be a difficult and even bittersweet experience when an American software company acquired their years of hard work, even with over $30 million dollars: “I spent seven years building the company with my blood, sweat and tears. Then, I had to let it go.” She likens building a company to giving birth to a child, and to her, Zopim was her baby. But after that, the Zopim founders became instant millionaires.

Chow Paredes

4 Asian Women Shaking Up Traditional Industries
Source: ZipMatch.com

One might think that one cannot get too creative when it comes to selling properties. Maybe a strong charisma and having good communication skills would be enough to get you somewhere in the field. But Chow Paredes, a licensed real estate broker from the Philippines, chose to take it up a notch and do something different instead, something that will give her an edge over her competitors.

How she broke the glass ceiling

 Coming from a family of lawyers, Paredes consciously strayed from the same path to pursue her passion for sales: “I’ve always loved sales. I do very well in sales because I truly enjoy doing it.” It was after years of persuading clients to buy condominiums that she got the idea to get into entrepreneurship; more than that, she applied what she learned from experience as she started her new venture. Thus, in 2013, ZipMatch was born.

She sees starting ZipMatch not just as a business but also an advocacy; she wants to erase the common misconception that brokers are in it just for commissions and to make the cut. Being one of the real estate brokers to get licensed, she aims to provide customer-centered services to those seeking their new homes or property investments.

It is the online real estate marketplace’s goal to lessen the burden both for brokers and customers in the researching and listing part of the property-hunting process; as a result, brokers working under the company can put their focus and attention on building relationships and making an impression on clients.

This totally changed the real estate industry’s landscape in the country. As of 2015, the company’s value has been raised to $2.5 million and therefore, proves to be another success story of utilising technology to break barriers in what we usually think of as traditional industries.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Singapore, Entrepreneurship, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam
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Abigail Wong is the Writer of The New Savvy.

She is a Singapore Management University 2nd year undergraduate specialising in Strategic Management. From Tampa, Florida, she possesses an International Baccalaureate diploma from C. Leon King High School, and previously held the position of Treasurer of the King High School Division of the French National Honour Society and the Science National Honour Society. Abigail is currently acting as President of the French Cultural Club for SMU International Connections, and as a Resident Advisor and Fire Warden for the SMU Residences at Prinsep.

Abigail is a Former Florida Science Olympiad Champion in chemical forensics and protein modelling, and former Health Occupation Student’s Association District Champion in clinical nursing.

In her free time, Abigail enjoys interacting and caring for animals. She has previously volunteered for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as an Adoption Assistant.

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