At the age of 31, Nuraini Mohamad is already running a beauty empire which has already penetrated the Indonesian market. Whilst being considerably young, she is already strategizing to expand her beauty empire around the region. “You have to understand where I’m coming from. I’ve been selling cosmetics since my teen years, and from there I learned the tricks of the trade.” Looking good inside out is very important to Nuraini. Since young, she’s always the one who’d come out all dressed up with full makeup on. “I watch what I eat, I take great care of my skin and I always pamper myself with the best beauty products in the market.” Her relentless pursuit in beauty perfection is well known. Naturally, Nuraini started taking interest in several beauty products and decided to sell them. “Once I gained enough knowledge, I went to develop my own.” In the pursuit of unlocking her childhood dream, Nuraini just went into the business without much thought. As how she describes it, “There’s never a ‘right’ time to start!”

Born in Mersing, Johor and grew up in Rompin, Pahang, Nuraini finally settled in Kuala Krai, Kelantan where her husband resides and the beauty entrepreneur has no complaints managing her business from that very small town. “I’m proud because Nanyqish is a homegrown beauty brand, developed and manufactured here in my own hometown. This is where our factory is and we’re offering and opening up job opportunities to the community. To tell you the truth, I’ve never thought of moving my headquarters elsewhere and I’m determined to stay put,” said Nuraini as she prefers to be nearer to her family and loved ones.

Especially for the shoot with THE CEO, Nuraini and her entourage came down from Kuala Krai to Kuala Lumpur just for the weekend, booking nearly the entire floor at the Mandarin Oriental. Tagging along was Nanyqish’s brand ambassador, singer and actress, Bienda.

Registered her own company in 2013, Secret Super Slimming was first introduced in 2014. It quickly became a popular slimming supplement among the targeted demographic, kicked off a trend that many other local beauty and wellness companies eventually followed suit.

Nanyqish became a familiar branding especially among the beauty obsessed consumers in the East Coast and Northern region. Not for long, her product became popular nationwide and it created a significant increase in demand. “At the time, when people mentioned slimming drink, they’d think of Nanyqish!” Nuraini’s success story continued with the launch of her next slimming drink, Choco Milkshake. Understanding the public’s obsession with staying healthy and in shape, Nuraini introduced her first slimming cream aptly named, Let’s Shanteq Lotion. “When it comes to nutrition and skin, I believe that your diet and lifestyle choices should always be the first things you look at. However, I fully appreciate that there are things that are out of people’s control or difficult to manage, such as stress, or that diets can be limited in certain nutrients. In these instances, supplements for skin health can be helpful,” she adds.

“Some of the things that I love wearing are colored contact lenses and fake eyelashes. Naturally, those two were my next products lined up right after the successful launch of Choco Milkshake. Like I mentioned before, I’m doing this out of love and I wish to share my love for these beauty essentials with everyone.” Nuraini brings quality beauty products to consumers and she stands by it especially when her latest lip tint collection which just recently hits the market is popping up on dozens of influencers’ social media accounts. “To gain the public’s trust, you are your own ambassador.” Besides buying air time for television and radio, Nuraini works closely with a few influential makeup artistes as part of her marketing game plan. Mua Bellaz, one of the most popular beauty influencer in the country has always been a fan of the brand and now officially a muse for Nanyqish.

Looking at the market’s current situation, Nuraini is staying optimistic as the industries are opening up. “Bad times don’t last. Yes, we are battered but not beaten.” Nuraini refused to slow down even though the economy was put on a halt during the first round of MCO. “Pandemic happened and there was so much uncertainty that led to a collective loss of normalcy. So many questions were playing in my mind when the first nationwide lockdown was implemented. Would my business survive the lockdown? Am I able to revive my business once the situation improves? Surprisingly, the sales were not as bad as I expected it to be and I thank God for that. Yes, we saw a bit of a drop but people are still buying online. I sell beauty supplements and I assure you; the demand is always there.”

During the nationwide lockdown, Nuraini had no problem running their business from Kuala Krai. Staying home meant more time for Nuraini and her team to double up their promotions as well as aggressively market Nanyqish products on several online platforms. “Kuala Lumpur has always been an important market to us and surprisingly Negeri Sembilan has shown significant sales increase. But nothing prepared us to the response that we got from the Northern states like Kedah, Perlis and Penang – which have been amazingly tremendous! We spent extra time in reeducating our followers about Nanyqish products, the ingredients and its benefits, besides showing them application techniques during live sessions. My team and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and we hope the consumers love our products as much as we do!” Nuraini already sets her heart on making Nanyqish a leader in the growing market for beauty supplement and she’s already focused on extending sales growth in Indonesia and beyond.

What references or recommendations would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business? “First of all, you need to ask yourself if this is what you really want. You know what they say. Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” Besides taking short business courses organized by banks, Nuraini stressed that aligning yourself with the right individuals is also very important. “There’s so much that you can learn from people and their experiences. You get a glimpse of what’s in front of you by talking to seasoned beauty brand owners as well as other entrepreneurs. No one has it easy. There will be hardship. But in the end of the day, all the blood sweat and tears will be worth it when you get to enjoy the rewards after.” Moreover, Nuraini always reminds her own staff to always be kind, thoughtful and respectful. “To begin with, own who you are but never settle for less.”

To be mentally strong and not care of the negativities are two key advices by Nuraini when asked about the challenges she faces. “Once a while, you’ll meet people who’d just make things harder for you. And that’s okay! You just have to learn to block all the bad energies and keep moving forward.” Furthermore, Nuraini never hesitates in exploring new possibilities and strategies. She welcomes her competitions and sees it as just simply part of the game. “Oh well, it still is a good eight years of running the business. But to be frank, competition is getting tougher and fiercer. So many new up and coming similar products hit the market every month and my team is always on the alert to stay ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for healthy competition. I make sure my team understands what our customer wants and react to their need quicker for that crucial advantage.”  She adds on grinning with optimism, “Oh, and we’re just warming up!”

One of the most important lessons she learned in juggling responsibilities between being a wife and a mother, a brand owner and an entrepreneur; is that you need to have grit to thrive with the ability to persevere. “The two most important lessons I’ve learned in managing a business while raising a family, you have to be still in every situation to fully understand who you are at the moment and cater to what you need in order to be successful. Be spiritually grounded and always remember the real reason why you started. Challenges are part of the journey and someday you’ll look back and think that every hardship that you faced were all worth it.”

Nuraini has found the entrepreneurial journey both energizing and exhausting. She vows to never stop learning and to navigate the business world with her eyes and mind wide open. “Once you’ve run the race a few times to get it right, you feel burned out for about three seconds. Then you stand there and realize you did it, despite the odds. That feeling is energizing, you feel like you can conquer anything.” Self reward has always been something that Nuraini looks forward to. Be it going on a long vacation or retail therapy at Chanel or Louis Vuitton, Nuraini still prefers the occasional trips to Sephora for a makeup shopping spree.

So what’s next for Nanyqish Legacy? “Probably a facial brightening skincare set. But honestly, I dream of having my own building where I can set up a one stop centre.” The beauty entrepreneur also envisioned her 12-year old daughter to someday take on her role and continue running Nanyqish Legacy. “I may be able to expand the business around the region but my only daughter might bring Nanyqish to compete in the global market. Never say never.”