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In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.

Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.

Meet Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

 

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

 

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/ brand about?

“It is not often that you meet someone who seems to have been born with such an entrepreneurial spirit. Sadira Yeong is one such person.” — The Edge, 2022

I studied pharmacy at the University of Malaya where I founded my first tech start-up, Readpublic (Funded by Cradle Fund under MoF Malaysia), and represented Malaysia in global business competitions across Germany, Canada, Australia, and Indonesia. I was awarded the title “Student Role Model of the Year” by the Ministry of Education.

With my technical background and expertise in scaling, I was then appointed to be the country manager of a Singapore-based Australia-listed (ASX) biotechnology company where I oversaw new market expansions and commercialisation efforts in China, Singapore, and Indochina countries.

Currently, I’m passionate about leveraging on compounding customer relationships through a subscription business model through a data-driven approach; and currently is the co-founder and CEO of SEA’s 1st and largest perfume subscription start-up, Scentses + Co, enabling subscribers a monthly experience of discovering new different perfumes every month by leveraging data points for designer brands such as Furla, Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few.

With a presence in both Singapore and Malaysia, this start-up is backed by notable VCs and angels in the region and has grown from a team of 3 to 20s.

What got you started on your business? 

During the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia, my sister, Sabreena and I found ourselves with a collection of unused full bottle perfumes; sparking an idea that would later evolve into something extraordinary. It was during this unique situation that the concept of creating a community to share these perfumes with took root in our minds.

The essence of the idea was to foster a sense of community and sharing, allowing individuals to experience a variety of perfumes without the commitment of purchasing a full bottle. This concept gave rise to our tagline, “Why commit to a full bottle of perfume when you can discover perfumes of your choice every month?”

This initiative was not only a response to the challenges posed by the MCO but also a testament to the power of creativity during uncertain times. It transformed a surplus of perfumes into a community-driven project that resonated with individuals seeking variety and connection.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

Before you started your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?

I was a student who kick-started a tech start-up (Readpublic) which is essentially a platform for readers to compare book prices, much like Agoda.com for hotels and Skyscanner for flights.

Then, I had an opportunity to lead as a country manager for a biotechnology company where I saw to scaling the company’s commercialisation and expansion.

What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?

As we grow, one of our main challenges is finding and keeping the right talent. It’s a delicate balance of retaining our fantastic team and bringing in new folks who share our vision. We divide our focus, with dedicated teams for recruitment while ensuring we’re all aligned on the battles that matter most.

Wearing both CEO and CMO hats, my days are a juggling act. Managing the team involves focused time slots for internal matters, strategy, and project oversight. Simultaneously, I’m out there networking and fundraising; representing our company in the external world. It’s about being agile, switching hats seamlessly, and making sure every effort contributes to our company’s growth. Constantly asking, “Are we fighting the right battle together?” keeps us on course and focused on what truly matters.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

Who inspires you?

No one truly inspires me. My inspiration and motivation come from within. It is a constant urge and desire of wanting to push my boundaries and the potential to be a stronger person. I am constantly excited to see how ‘Sadira’ grows as a person through life experiences, and that’s where the inner inspiration comes from.

What excites you most about your industry?

I find the most exhilarating aspect of our industry to be the endless possibilities for creativity and connection. Perfumes have a unique ability to evoke emotions, memories, and personal experiences. What excites me the most is the opportunity to curate a sensorial journey for our subscribers, introducing them to a diverse world of fragrances that become an intimate part of their lives.

What is your vision / personal motto?

Memento Mori. It translates to “Remember that you will die” in English. It’s a reminder of the inevitability of death and the transient nature of life. I constantly remind myself of this motto to make sure I live my day to the fullest while ensuring I constantly take on challenges to push my own personal potential.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

 

What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?

Trust, respect, and listen to your gut.

How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?

By showing up genuinely and being authentically me, and this means embracing my flaws and weaknesses. Growing up, I was taught that vulnerability = weakness and I learned that people around me were constantly showing up with a façade as an attempt to hide their weaknesses. I recently realised that vulnerability does not equate to weakness and have since then pledged to live my life authentically. I hope this empowers more ladies to be more authentically themselves.

Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business / starting to pursue their dream?

Just do it. Start something, be it a small step or a huge leap of faith. Just start something to get the momentum going.

What is one thing you are grateful for?

I am grateful to be able-bodied physically and mentally. Health is the foundation to life. I am reminded of the preciousness of life itself. Each day is an opportunity to cherish and make the most of the gifts bestowed upon me, to contribute positively to the world around me, and to inspire others to embrace their own health and vitality.

 

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Sadira Yeong (Scentses + Co)

Scentses + Co Brand Logo

Let us know more about what you do!

Scentses + Co is the region’s 1st and leading designer perfume subscription that allows anyone to try any designer perfumes from just $19.9 with no commitment!

You may also find my sister and I featured on Money FM this. I was also recently featured on 8 World, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily, and Cosmetics Design Asia.

Connect with Scentses + Co

Website: https://www.scentsesandco.com.sg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scentsesandco.sg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scentsesandco

Are you a Fempreneur too?

Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.

 

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