Welcome to How I Work It, where women we admire share the time management routines, rituals and motivations getting them through the week
In 2013, Petrina Goh left a five-year career as an investment banker at CIMB to embark on a venture that reflected a milestone in her own life; as a young mother, she was quick to recognise the potential and value of starting an online platform that catered to the needs of women on the verge of life's most momentous milestones, from marriage to pregnancy and motherhood.
With her husband Kelvin Leow, she co-founded Nuren Group, the thriving tech startup behind high-traffic regional platforms like Motherhood.com.my, Kelabmama.com, Ibuencer.com, and Wedding.com.my. Seven years has since passed, and these platforms collectively boast over five million users across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. While Motherhood.com.my is an English content hub and e-marketplace platform featuring over 5,000 brands, Nuren Group's Malay-language platform Kelabmama.com is the largest urban Malay site for parents in Malaysia. Then there's Ibuencer.com, touted to be Southeast Asia's largest community of 'mum influencers' and brands.
"During my first pregnancy, I was clueless about what to expect, and pretty overwhelmed by all that had to be done," Goh recalls. "When I was expecting my first child, I had very few female friends who were also pregnant or with kids at the same time. The only sources I turned to were parenting magazines, books or even Facebook. Frankly, I didn’t know how well I could trust the credibility of the information I found on social media. Being part of a community of like-minded mums who are going through similar challenges and experiences was and is so important for young parents today," she adds.
While a chunk of Nuren Group's success is linked to Goh's solid leadership and consistent ability to secure funding from the likes of Gobi Partners, InnoVen Capital and 500 TukTuks, it's also indicative of the sheer volume of parents purchasing baby products and searching for family-related services and resources online. Business-wise, it helps that Goh herself is part of this demographic.
Recently named by TechNode Global as one of Southeast Asia's top 50 rising women in tech 2021, Goh reveals the biggest takeaways from her entrepreneurial journey, how she overcame postpartum depression and why it's vital for working mums to have a community of like-minded women behind them.
MY LIFE PHILOSOPHY
I believe that every failure is a step closer to success. We’ve been in business for seven years. That's seven years with a lot of challenges and rollercoaster emotions. As a business, we pivoted so many times. We started as a wedding platform and expanded into parenting. We started an e-commerce platform and then launched parenting content in collaboration with doctors and psychologists; it was a really long journey. But I learned that overcoming the fear to fail was the only way to move out from my comfort zone and move one step closer to success. I firmly believe that adversity helps develop creativity, motivation and tenacity.
QUALITY DOWNTIME AND THE SPACE FOR NEW IDEAS
I feel most creative at night when I have one to two hours to myself, after the noise and work of the day are over. When I can wind down, read a book or watch some TV, I get new ideas. I try my best to have monthly or quarterly getaways where I have my own space to think and come up with ideas. I do this myself, or sometimes with the company, through quarterly team-building activities outside the office. Otherwise, the whole thing feels like an endless rat race, things become routine and we get in to our comfort zone. I've learnt that sometimes, we have to put ourselves outside of the usual business environment for the creativity and ideas to really flow.