To some people, healthy eating sounds like a lot of work. It’s immediately associated with bland food options, a high maintenance diet, and is often seen as a time-consuming task. But who said it had to be this way?
Singapore-based startup Sustenance is leading the charge in the industry of nutritious plant-based meal replacement shakes. Rooted in science with the go-getter in mind, the team created and developed fuss-free shakes that can be prepared in just a matter of minutes. What’s more, it’s packed with a healthy dose of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, providing all the nutrition one needs to get through the day.
Since its inception in 2017, Sustenance has grown tremendously—from a humble business providing complete and tasty meal shakes to local consumers, to achieving regional expansion in 2019 with customers from all over Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Hong Kong. With such rapid growth and scalability, they needed a partner that wouldn't just ride the waves with them but help the brand grow at the same time—that’s where Aspire comes in.
From the man himself, Sustenance Co-Founder Leon Chen gives us a glimpse into his entrepreneurial journey and how Aspire has helped the brand grow to where it is today.
Sustenance was founded in 2017 and started scaling in 2019. We currently have thousands of customers across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and are growing every day. The idea behind Sustenance is simple: we want to empower people to lead healthy, disease-free lives without having to put diets at the centre of their lives.
I was a senior executive at a Singapore-listed company, before serving as the general manager at an e-commerce company.
Together with my business partner Gautam, we wanted to give our customers a simple way to eat healthily. That’s why Sustenance is here to offer minimally processed products made with real food ingredients to our customers.
I would say the biggest challenge in 2021 would be improving our level of service to our customers as we continue to scale and expand. It is very easy for businesses to focus on growing and forget that serving their customers is the reason for growth. As a result, service and quality are typically compromised during growth.
However, we at Sustenance have taken the extra care to ensure that we don’t compromise our existing quality even as we focus on scaling. In fact, we are simultaneously working on improving our service to our existing customers in various ways. For example, we have recently sent out complimentary care packs to our regular customers to thank them for their support and provide a small morale boost during this challenging pandemic.
We were trying to get good FX rates for our payment to our suppliers and get some savings on our recurring marketing spend such as digital marketing and SaaS.
Aspire has provided good FX rates for our USD payments to suppliers and it has helped us save a ton of money compared to banks’ rates.
We have grown our customer base through different methods like social media marketing via FB and IG, Google SEM, PR campaigns and word-of-mouth referrals.
Aspire provides cashback on our digital marketing spend and software subscription spend which definitely helps. Every penny saved is a penny earned!
My favourite Aspire feature is the cashback feature on digital spend, for sure!
We are looking at expanding into more geographies in the Asia Pacific by the end of 2021. Stay tuned for that!
The Sustenance team shows us that a successful startup can sprout from the simplest of ideas. In their case, it’s to empower people to lead healthy lifestyles through drinkable meals. As Leon shared, it’s easy to neglect your existing customer base in pursuit of business expansion. But with Aspire, you don’t have to compromise. We’ll help you get through both of those things at the same time.
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