A family & mission oriented businessOlivia Quah is a Malaysian entrepreneur who was inspired to start her business, iElder, back in 2018 while caring for her aging parents. Her mom experienced a fall and late father was suffering from mild dementia, which forced Olivia to reflect on the types of care products and services available for those in retirement.
“This incident left a deep impact on me and I decided on that day to focus on the convergence of technology, products and services that can ensure Senior Citizens can live their lives in a safe and independent manner.”
Soon after, she launched iElder, a B2C ecommerce platform, that aims for seniors to “live a safe and comfortable life in their own homes, with the aid of innovative medical gadgets and devices from across the world.”
Aiming to support elders to thrive in their retirement stage of life, iElder regularly collaborates with healthcare associations in various community welfare initiatives. Besides donating medical equipment to hospitals and senior homes through CSR activities, they also organize webinars to share healthcare tips that address common issues faced by patients and caregivers.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, iElder had been in business for about four years. Due to their already strong presence online and the increased demand for healthcare products, they were well positioned in the market. Throughout the pandemic, iElder was able to double their online sales and could keep all members of their staff employed despite global economic uncertainty.
Taking her online business to the next levelA passionate proponent of e-commerce, Olivia has utilised various online platforms in the past and is always looking for new digital solutions to improve her operations. That is why she ultimately decided to apply for a new programme organized by the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia (NAWEM) and the ILO’s Rebuilding Better Project. The programme, which was organized to assist women entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level online, consisted of a mix of technical sessions and peer support and spanned the course of four months.
The programme opened Olivia’s eyes on how to better utilize her website as a marketing tool for her customers. She identified several areas of improvement and was encouraged by facilitators and other participants to take action. The key message she took away was to simplify as much as possible and focus on highlighting important information, as to improve user experience and indirectly increase sales.
The participation in the programme led Olivia to proceed with a major transformation of iElder’s website. Today, she is very proud of the website which has a much more professional design.
Looking forwardOverall, Olivia is thankful to have had the opportunity to learn how she could further optimize her website, which she believes will help further increase iElder’s sales and expand into new markets.
As she leads iElder into 2023, Olivia is feeling positive and hopeful about the future. The business is expanding to new locations in Malaysia as well as other countries in the region with plans of growing into a regional and international supplier.
iElder is also planning on opening a premium retirement home. Olivia is hopeful that this care facility will allow them to embody their mission even further and showcase that retirement should be about enjoying life, not suffering.
In terms of building on the skills acquired through the Rebuilding Better programme, Olivia will continue to adopt new digital marketing trends. She encourages other women to not only participate in programmes like the one offered by NAWEM and the Rebuilding Better Project, but to put what they learn into practice together with other women entrepreneurs, as this is what will deliver real impact.
Award-winning resilienceOlivia was recently recognized as an award winner for the “Resilience 30 Women Awards 2022 by HAPA®& Shanghai Business Media & BESPOKE International Group sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank on 26th September 2022. This award selected 30 outstanding, extraordinary, and resilient women in business and career across Malaysia to celebrate their perseverance, determination and ability to bounce back from crisis.
In addition to the Resilience Women Awards, iElder is also currently shortlisted for Malaysian top e-commerce merchant awards.