From a Noodle-seller to a Successful International Lifestyle Brand – Ron Sim

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Photo credits to The Business Times

Ron Sim founded OSIM International Limited, maker of high-end massage chairs. He took the company private in 2016 and created V3 Group, a leading luxury brand in Asia which comprises of OSIM, TWG Tea, LAC and GNI focusing on lifestyle and wellness. According to Forbes.com, he is ranked #29 in Singapore’s 50 Richest 2018. Furthermore, he was voted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 and in the same year won The Business Times “Businessman of the Year.”

Growing up in a big family with seven siblings, Ron had to take up odd jobs such as selling prawn noodles and being a waiter to support his family and fund his own education fees at a very young age. It was during this tough period that he realized his talent for selling.

How OSIM Started
Ron Sim did not continue his studies after his ‘O’ levels and set up his first company in 1979 with four partners but it did not work out. Thus, in 1980, Ron registered his own company as R. Sim Trading Pte Ltd which specialized in trading household goods but had to close down due to recession in 1985. Despite the recession, he saw an opportunity to enter the wellness industry and started Health Check & Care in 1987, where the company’s products were mainly massage chairs, household goods and health-care related products which contributed to a huge success with 10 outlets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was only later on in 1994 that Ron realized the company needed a more distinctive name to be trademarked and renamed the company as ‘OSIM’ – a combination of his own surname, with the “O” to represent the globe. In the efforts to expand the products they offered, they acquired the GNC franchise, which sells nutritional supplements. In 2003, OSIM continued to expand across the world and in 2009, OSIM launched their concept store – “Chair inspirations by OSIM’.

OSIM Today
OSIM International Limited is currently the global leader in luxury lifestyle products. Today, OSIM has a wide network with more than 414 outlets in 98 cities across 21 countries such as China, New Zealand and South Korea. OSIM currently has more than 100 innovative products ranging from massage chairs, air purifiers and travel neck pillows which covers the four focuses of ‘Relax + Relieve’, ‘Tone + Shape’, ‘Check + Measure’ and ‘Clean + Purify’.

Their products have won many design and innovation awards, a few examples are:

  • iSymphonic, first massage chair synchronized to music – Voted “Invention of the Year” by Time Magazine in 2003
  • uSpace OS7000, a revolutionary massage chair that combines synchronized music and mood light along with massage therapy.-  Reddot design Award Winner 2008
  • uPamper 2, the world’s 1st Gua Sha handheld massager – Reddot Design Award Winner 2016

Doing their Part for the Community
Besides being a successful lifestyle brand, OSIM has also contributed in the society by setting up an ongoing endowment fund with the Business School in National University of Singapore (NUS) called the OSIM Professorship in Branding and Innovation and raised funds for the victims of the Asian tsunami in 2004. Furthermore, OSIM has also actively supported healthy events overseas such as The Healthy Walk Event in Taiwan, as well as major cultural events in Malaysia in 2005 and 2006.

 

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