By June Ramli
For entrepreneur Tom Goh the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing but a blessing in disguise.
This was because, after two years of conceptualising his business plan, Goh finally managed to put together an app specialising in everything aesthetics off to a rousing start.
“I never thought I would start a new business again, but ironically COVID-19 made it all happen for me,” said Cosderm managing director and NextBeu founder.
His business partner, Beijing-based Richie Chai also sat in during the interview saying the two first met about 10 years ago.
“I’ve always admired him as an entrepreneur,” Chai said of Goh.
But after returning to Malaysia last year to celebrate Chinese New Year, Chai who was running his business between Bangsar and Beijing got stranded in the country due to border closures and one thing led to another.
Chai soon found himself as one of the founding members of Goh’s app.
“I did a lot of things and one of them is this.
“I think he was waiting for the right time. As we were both quite active on social media, one day he just called and after a long discussion I decided to join in,” Chai said.
He added the pandemic became a catalyst for the app’s launch as talents were available at a minimal cost.
Now, after half a million Ringgit later, alongside with two other founding members on board including Goh’s ex-staff, the app has a busy year ahead.
This was because many clinics were wanting to jump online but didn’t know how until NextBeu came along providing them with the missing link, Chai said.
This explains why the Next Generation of Beauty or NextBeu for short has had over 3,000 downloads since its inception late last year.
“The app took six months to build and we update it every day. So far we have 350 doctors listed on the app,” Chai said.
He said this was like a comprehensive aesthetic encyclopedia, with two high profile consultants Dr Ungku Shahrin, President of Malaysia Certified Aesthetic Doctors Organisation and Dr Lim Kim Siea, owner of Dr Lee Kim Siea Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Clinic on board.
“That is why this app is safe for users and all information inside is free,” Chai said.
Recalling the earlier days, Goh said the idea for the app came about after he found himself feeling sorry for women who often fell prey to botched jobs conducted mainly by unlicensed beauty salons.
“That is why our app has no beauticians or beauty salons,” he said.
Explaining further, Goh said the app is the first mobile application in Southeast Asia specializing in all aspects of aesthetic treatments, from information to consultations with the top physicians in Malaysia.
He said everyone listed on the app had been accredited by the Health Ministry through the issuance of LCP or Letter of Credential Privilege.
He said no one without accreditation would be listed on the app.
Goh said the app acted as a one-stop centre for anyone who wanted to know a thing or two about plastic surgery in Malaysia.
“Instead of driving around and asking for quotes from one clinic to another, users can get the information by logging on to the app,” Goh said.
He said users would also be able to review the doctors through the app, adding that each clinic would have a representative available online to speak to potential clients and give them real-time information on anything at all.
“We also have a marketplace selling medical skincare and related products,” said Goh.
Goh added he was also working on making the app more interactive by turning up a Facebook-like feature where its users can post stuff.
“If you wake up one day and realise that one of your eyes is bigger than the other, you can post that on the wall, and people will respond to you with some help,” he said.
He said moving forward, they were looking at adding more AI integration to ensure that the data on the app was more up-to-date and improve the UX (user experience) of the app.
“We have plans to expand overseas, maybe in 2022 or 2023 to countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and even Australia,” he said.
On the demographics, Goh said the app was mainly being used by women between the ages of 22 to 38-year-olds who mostly seek after pigmentation treatments.
“Last year was a good year for me. I finally managed to get this app off the ground. I feel excited for what is to come,” Goh said.
The NextBeu app is now available at both the Google Play store and the Apple store.
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