Health restrictions point Jesrina to gap in the market for people with allergies

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Mar 2017

Making lemonade out of lemons: ‘Have faith that the tough times are paving the way for great things to come,’ says Jesrina, co-founder of PurelyB in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Finding her way back to wellness after suffering various allergies paved the road to success for health and wellness portal PurelyB co-founder Jesrina Arshad.

The former Astro assistant vice-president of digital marketing had rashes, indigestion and bouts of flu. In 2015, she discovered she was allergic to gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and seafood – all the works, really.

Through research on the Internet, Jesrina learnt ways to overcome her health issues. Besides looking for recipes to help her deal with her food allergies, she came across websites with nutritional tips, health and wellness programmes.

Dealing with her health setbacks however led her to pursue a new purpose, to help others lead a healthier lifestyle.

“It dawned on me to collect this information and put them on a platform to help other allergy-sufferers and those looking to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Jesrina, 33, who co-founded her wellness company in 2015 with six women partners.

Today, Jesrina is living proof that women can be entrepreneurs if their heart and mind are set towards running a successful business.

“No matter what happens, never give up. Stars can’t shine without darkness – have faith that the tough times are paving the way for great things to come. Be passionate about your business and never doubt yourself,” said Jesrina during an interview here recently.

She said it’s also important to determine your products’ selling point and if there is a demand in the market.

PurelyB made headlines as one of the first Asian start-up companies founded by women. The company managed to obtain RM2.2mil (US$500,000) in funding from Silicon Valley-based 500 startups, an early stage venture fund and seed accelerator.

The PurelyB website, available in English and Chinese, claims to be Asia’s first health and wellness content integrated marketplace.

Besides providing customers with the A to Z on wellness (nutrition, fitness, positivity and lifestyle), it is also a marketplace for them to buy health goods and services.

Today, there are 90,000 members in the PurelyB community, with 21,000 followers on its Instagram account.

In 2015, the company was selected as one of online daily technology news service Red Herring Inter­national’s Top 100 Startups in Asia as well as one of 20 Malaysian startups for the US-based Stanford Technology Ventures Programme.

To make healthy living easy and convenient, Jesrina works with nutritionists, doctors, chefs and herbalists to ensure items sold on the website are safe, organic and paraben-free. Homegrown organic brands are given prominence on the website too.

Regarding the importance of International Women’s Day, Jesrina said: “Women empowerment is about confidence to defy expectations and going above and beyond to attain your goals. Always remember there’s a chance to be successful in your business endeavours. While success may not come straight away, work hard towards your goal.”

On March 26, Jesrina will be sharing her stories with other women trailblazers at the WOW-Women do Wonders Talk & Bazaar this March 26 at SEGi University, Kota Damansara.

Moderated by WOMEN:girls founder Low Ngai Yuen, the panel will also feature producer/actress Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina, CIMB Investment Bank CEO Datuk Swee Ling and Caring Moms co-founder Major Shera Ann Bosco.

Former Minister of International Trade and Industry and chairman of AirAsia X Bhd Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, and CEO and executive director of AirAsia Aireen Omar will also be sharing their insights on that day. There will also be a showcase by Hong Kong entertainer Maria Cordero.

AirAsia is the main sponsor of the WOW-Women do Wonders campaign.

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