This week on FEW Members' Corner, we would like to introduce you to Jiyi Kim, Founder of Charmfidence, Asia’s leading platform for people to learn about cosmetic treatments, share their experiences and connect with trusted service providers.
Hello Jiyi, can you tell us more about your entrepreneurial journey?
I was born and raised in Korea, graduated from Ewha's Women's University and I speak fluent English, Mandarin and Korean. I moved to Hong Kong eight years ago and spent most of my career doing business development in global fintech firms including Bloomberg and IHS Markit. Charmfidence is a medical aesthetics platform that helps people learn about cosmetic treatments, share experiences and connect with medical service providers.
What inspired you to start your company?
My colleagues & friends in Hong Kong were constantly asking for advice on clinics and doctors that were good at certain cosmetic treatments in Korea. There was a growing interest in Korean medical aesthetics. However, my friends faced difficulty in their research process due to asymmetric information for foreign patients and were concerned about the selection criteria for medical service providers. There was a lack of reliable information on cosmetic treatments and no transparency in treatment prices.
So far, what's the most challenging part of your journey?
Hong Kong is not as open as Korea and China where people share their personal experiences in medical aesthetics. Despite the growing demand, people in HK generally consider plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments as taboo. Getting a user to share an honest and good quality review is challenging. It would take some time for society to view plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments as a journey to enhance one's confidence and we are trying to send this message across to everyone.
Can you share a bit about your fundraising journey so far?
Before generating real business traction, numbers are nothing more than just assumptions hence there is often a mismatch in founder & investor expectations. We had to convince investors with realistic numbers supported by comparative analysis, industry trends and a strong commercial model. However, medical aesthetics is a niche market in the medtech space and not many investors have experience or are familiar with this industry. We are trying to obtain more feedback from users and service providers to implement the most suitable business model. We will also provide this industry feedback to investors to help improve their understanding and minimize this expectation gap.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
On growing teams
Every member has their own uniqueness, strength and weakness with a variety of skill set. Having a deep understanding of each team member is really important and sourcing the right skill set at the right time to create the best synergy among your team is an important tip I would like to share.
On running a business
How important the ability to read people is – not just your team members but also to be able to build relationships with people who can support your business in the real world. Although we are a tech company, I have learned that having good technology is not as important as a good understanding of human psychology and behaviour - especially to be able to earn people's trust. This ultimately develops from having meaningful engagement with people to build solid business relationships.
On building credibility and trust
Constantly sharing my vision of the business, my passion for solving customer's problems and confidently executing my plans are the primary ways I build credibility and trust. I take every customer's feedback seriously and if a user mentioned that a feature or experience is not good, our product team will verify this feedback and change the process or enhance that feature. I built credibility by delivering on all my promises to earn trust from my stakeholders and partners.