Companies Tap on SBF’s Boost Up Initiative to Address Gaps for Profitability and Growth

The initiative focuses on frameworks and tools that will help businesses unlock new areas of growth by differentiating their products and services, as well as creating unique customer experience.

Companies are always on the look out to generate greater profits, improve productivity and implement effective growth strategies. These are among their top priorities identified in Singapore Business Federation (SBF)’s recent National Business Survey.

Hence, SBF launched the inaugural Boost Up initiative in January 2022 to support the business community in developing solutions based on an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs, or a roadmap that could help identify and address gaps to successfully develop a product, service or brand. For companies such as Natura Biotechnologies and GUAVA Amenities, the Boost Up initiative has helped them address key issues to formulate successful growth strategies.

Natura Biotechnologies: Capturing an untouched segment via social media

Natura designs and sells plant-based health products under its proprietary LIFE ROOTS® brand. Natura’s formulations are inspired by natural, traditional herbal remedies with a long history of documented use.

While the science behind LIFE ROOTS® is sound, led by a team of doctors and nutritionists, the founding team based in Singapore was relatively new to the sector of consumer health products.  Natura’s Director Matthew Koh revealed, “We were grounded by pandemic travel restrictions and set up Natura in August 2020, as a Plan B of sorts. As oil and gas professionals, we knew about supply chains and dealing with corporate customers, but were in the dark when it came to interacting with consumers, marketing consumer products, and utilising social media to do so.”

Mr Matthew Koh, Director of Natura, said Boost Up provided the step-by-step guidance for them to implement branding and social media marketing strategies.

Opportunely, SBF’s Boost Up initiative came into play. As part of the initiative, SBF connected Natura with one of its partners, the Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Business Management, where a team of students led by their lecturers first created a brand manual for Natura. The manual provided detailed guidelines on brand position, values, customer portraits, use of corporate fonts/colours, templates for marketing assets including social media posts and more.  Subsequently, a second group of students worked with Natura on implementation via a 3-month social media campaign to create brand awareness.

Mr Koh said, “Ultimately, we are still positioned as a B2B business and hope to supply raw material blends or semi-finished products to corporate customers. However, to better convince our corporate customers on our brand value, and if we need to do a transition to B2C further down the road, we now have a template which we can use immediately.”

Another benefit of being part of the Boost Up initiative was being able to connect with other business representatives who attended the launch event. Mr Koh added, “One of them is now our reseller as he operates an online retail store. With other participants, there was cross-pollination of ideas and exchanging of sales channels. All in all, everyone benefitted, and we were able to create value for one another.”

GUAVA: Mapping their ‘road’ to an international market

Another participating company which benefited from the inaugural launch of Boost Up initiative was GUAVA Amenities.

GUAVA was set up in 2004 and works closely with global hospitality chains, airlines and cruise lines in the area of sustainable guest amenities. These include the consumables found in hotel rooms as well as front of the house and back of the house facilities.  

GUAVA expanded into Vietnam in 2020 and faced some documentation problems. The GlobalConnect@SBF programme, a partner of Boost Up, guided and connected them with the Vietnamese embassy in Singapore to resolve the issue. SBF also introduced GUAVA to banks and law firms based in Vietnam, helping them gain a foothold into Vietnam.

Mr Gabriel Tan with President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamad Abdullah Alhabshee during the President’s State Visit to Vietnam

GUAVA’s Director Gabriel Tan pointed out that the South-east Asian region offers numerous opportunities, but he cautioned companies to tread carefully due to global uncertainties such as interest rate hikes, inflation and rising business costs. Mr Tan also highlighted that Singapore companies should tap on SBF resources such as SBF’s Boost Up initiative and GlobalConnect programme to help expand their capabilities to better meet impending challenges.

As a partner of Boost Up, the GlobalConnect@SBF will be offering workshop and implementable steps for companies to expand overseas in the second run of Boost Up that will be launched on 11 May 2023. The upcoming run of Boost Up will focus on Business Process Redesign, Customer Experience Management and Market Expansion supported by our partners – Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Amazon Web Services Singapore (AWS), NTUC Learning Hub, Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and Zuhlke. Please click here  to register your interest now!

Boost Up focuses on frameworks and tools that will unlock new areas of growth for companies. These include identifying and addressing gaps to re-engineer your business process, developing solutions based on an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs to improve customer journey experience, and expanding your offerings to overseas market.

Companies will be provided with step-by-step guidance to develop customised strategies and plans that can be implemented to meet their needs. Companies can access the programmes offered by our partners for actual implementation.