Managing Director of Beaubelle Asia-Pacific seeks to further strengthen the company’s vision and mission within this region:
“Being earth’s most customer-centric wellness company while creating better lives”.
The only daughter of a businessman, Ruby Siah, was offered the chance to create her own skincare brand. Her partner, a Swiss cosmetic scientist, would research and create skincare formulations based on her input while she would manage the marketing of the products.
A research centre was founded in Switzerland and a fresh concept was created to meet the demands of Asians. Siah explains, “In Europe, the heavy formulation suited their dry skin but here, we needed lighter textures which wouldn’t cause pimples. I also wanted something that would encompass our core values and passion – body, mind and soul harmony.”
In 1991, Siah founded Beaubelle and rolled out a full line – an ambitious 80 products – three years later. While other brands offered the same product mix for salon and retail use, Beaubelle made the spa version more potent than the maintenance retail version.
While others offered oil-based products, Beaubelle was the first to introduce water-based products. Siah also sought to create a leave-on massage cream that was non-comedogenic, unlike the wax-based massage creams used in salons then.
Her efforts saw Beaubelle being fully accepted in Malaysia before it spread its wings to Singapore, Hong kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Philippines. Today, Beaubelle is sold in 21 countries. Siah’s biggest challenge is convincing the agents in these countries that the training service in Malaysia is of international standards, if not better.
She says, “Many country agents cannot understand why a Swiss brand has its office roots in Malaysia.” Korea initially put off sending its therapists to Malaysia for training as they were puzzled why training programmes were held in Malaysia and not Switzerland.
But Siah’s therapists’ professional training and flexibility in accommodating their guests put the agents’ fears to rest. Siah says, “Malaysians tend to work harder to prove themselves, unlike the Europeans who have already established themselves in the skincare and perfume arena.”
Siah has even received an invitation from a university in Kuwait to conduct training courses there. Siah saw the need to educate and train her own therapists in order to maintain the quality of treatments at her Day Spa outlets. The Beaubelle Aesthetics Academy was set up in 1995 and is the only full-fledged spa therapy school in Malaysia.
Her passion for the business drove her to do her own research, attend trade shows, learn through her travels, observation and networking with people in the industry. She admits, “It’s always a challenge to convince someone to change skincare brands but if you have passion and believe in a brand, and uphold its quality, people will realise that yours is the better brand after a while.”
Not content on having conquered the Asia Pacific market, Siah recently registered a trading company in Switzerland to monitor business activities in Europe. “Our goal is to go into the world. Plans are afoot to have a day spa in Zurich and thereafter Paris and New York. We want to bring our Asian values to Europe.”
Beaubelle Worldwide has a 51% interest in Swiss-based Beaubelle Advanced Dermocosmetic Research Centre.
It is undeniable that Beaubelle is the most globalize beauty and cosmetic brand in Malaysia.
Ruby Siah first opportunity in beauty industry came while on a working trip to Germany. Someone from the beauty industry approached her to take up an agency in Asia. Despite being clueless about the beauty industry then, she welcomed the idea.
At the age of 27, Siah started distributing skincare products but found herself limited by her agent status. She had no say in what went into the product formulation and found the products too rich for Malaysian skin. A few years later, she was offered the chance to create her own skincare brand. Her partner, a Swiss cosmetic scientist, would research and create skincare formulations based on her input while she would manage the marketing of the products, and the rest is history.