(Not) The Annual Purpose Langkawi Report 2020

It’s damn hard! These are the three words that encapsulate the year that was for me, and Purpose. However, to be clear, 2020 was not a negative year. On the contrary, Purpose grew, and so did I. Also in the context of all things that happened, we had it pretty easy than countless others.

I’m glad Purpose did better than we did last year. The team did a superb job. In a year of many roadblocks, we still proceed on with many milestones and achievements. The 2020 Purpose Year in Review is on The PURPOSE Magazine if you’re keen to see the list.

2020 Purpose Year in Review
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To be the first to bring performance sportswear from Singapore to the world

This is a feature from nearly a year ago profiled both as personality and brand in Run Magazine Singapore.

Now 12 months on, I’m even more proud that we’ve further cemented our reputation as a brand from Singapore – the only one, that’s producing high-quality, race-winning and world-record-setting performance wear for triathlon, cycling and running.

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Don’t Just Think of Ideas, Act on Them

Don’t just think of ideas, act on them. This too started as a test project.

Three months ago, I decided to stop using a disposable mask and switch to reusable ones. But I find those that are available, not suitable. I wanted a simple sleeker style, seamless with no sewing at the front of the face, and importantly, a mask that flatters the face of the wearer. A bonus if it can be used for training as well.

One thing led to another and the Purpose Technical Mask was born. Apart from the main mask itself which had to be machine moulded, the rest are constructed by hand. Finally assembled by hand in Singapore.

Less than 100 were made, so let’s consider this a limited edition product? And if this idea doesn’t work well enough to take to scale, the team and I would’ve learnt a lot from it.

It’s still a win, regardless.

Noor’s Podcast, Anyone?

So I’ve been thinking about creating and hosting my own podcast anchored around business and marketing among products and brands from Southeast Asia. Would love to know what you think.

Theme: On business and marketing
Focus: Startup brands and products from Southeast Asia
Format: 45-mins to 1-hour Q&As with brands and product founders talking about their journey and cracking the marketing code for their startups. Different products, different paths. How do you/they do it? Especially coming from Southeast Asia and trying to break into the global stage, with tougher competitions.

Though A Founder’s Journey is Lonely, It Becomes Less So With A Great Team Around

I’m writing this at the corner of a major announcement we’re making because I’m dedicating this to my team who has made my journey in Purpose less lonely.

To an extent, I’d like to say that this is now Our Journey, not just mine.

For two years, I trodded on this path on my own. I could not see where I was headed – neither did I know where I’ll be. I know where I wanted to be.

Still, in the year and half that followed, we went from a team of one – me, to a team of 8. All in that time. We grew, and along with it came the growing pains.

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Risk and Reward as a Founder

Posted this on my LinkedIn and Facebook last week, and I thought I’d share it here too. While I know that although my LI and FB network are two separate groups, I realised that many of my connections there share the same interests. Happy to engage in a conversation about this if asked.

I’m 50, and Purpose is my first startup. I founded Purpose three and a half years ago with a vision to make it the world’s first multi-sports and activewear brand from Southeast Asia.

Prior to this, I have held senior and leadership roles in brand, creative, user experience, even marketing. My most recent being in PayPal which I did side by side when Purpose was starting. I put all my money and effort into Purpose, obliterating my savings and at one point deeply leveraged in debt.

So yes the risk is real. It’s hard leaving behind cushy salaries for something highly risky.

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