Fourth time’s the charm for founder of Cell-II

Forty-five years old Joeven Soh is the Founder and Regional Sales Director of Cell-II International Pte Ltd, a company that develops, manufactures and sells organic skin care products. Before you make any further guesses of his previous work experiences, let us save you some time. Joeven was not in the beauty industry before his new venture. He was in a completely different field – Oil & Gas.

So what makes him look beyond the familiarity of the energy industry to beauty? Here’s his story.

When did you start Cell-II International Pte Ltd and how did you come up with the name of your company?

We started this business in 2017, and the corporate name means generating new cells for the skin.

Before you venture into this business, what were you working as?

I worked in three different companies in the Oil & Gas Industry between 2005 and 2017, where the oil slump affected the whole Oil & Gas Industry globally.

What makes you want to leave your comfort zone and what aspire you to start your own business and become an entrepreneur?

I was working for a Marine contracting firm for seven years after leaving the Singapore Navy in 1996. I started my first company in 2005. I want to create an empire for myself rather than building on someone else’s dream.

Do you have someone you approach to seek advice? Are your parents entrepreneurs as well?

No, I do not have anyone I can approach to seek advice. My parents are not entrepreneurs, but they are very supportive and encouraging, which is one of my push factors in my journey of building my business.

Of all types of business, why beauty products? Do you come up with a business plan or do any research before you decide to go into beauty industry?

We did extensive research on Organic Skin Care products and found the potential global growth rate of 5% per annum and a market size of 196 billion by 2020.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

We plant, harvest, bottle our products in a closed loop system, which guarantees our customer the best organic experience.

Have you met with any failures and how do you overcome them? What were some of the biggest lessons learned and how had it impacted the way you run your business?

I failed three times, but I got up on the fourth try. The biggest lesson I have learned from past failure is cash flow management and company growth plan.

How do you think being an entrepreneur has changed you as a person?

Being an entrepreneur changed me in a good way because it requires strategic planning and I am responsible for our shareholders’ monies. It makes me more cautious when making financial decisions and expansion plans.

What advice would you give to people who want to start their businesses? Any specific skills needed to run a business?

The rule of thumb, you need to be consistent, persistent and always remind yourself why you started the business. My favourite quote is “Successful people don’t do anything different, but they do the same thing differently” – Shabbir

What do you want to achieve for the company in the next five years?

We plan to build this local brand “Cell-II” into a global brand and bring our company public.

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