Reviving Eu Yan Sang

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Eu Yan Sang was a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) family business that had been in business for more than 100 years. Despite family strife and divided leadership, Richard Eu, a fourth generation Eu, grew the company from a SGD 4 million business to a SGD 338 million one. Everything was going well until 2016 when growth stalled. The company posted a net loss of SGD 14.1 million for that year. Many factors, including macroeconomic factors and currency devaluation of the Hong Kong dollar, Malaysian ringgit, and Australian dollar, had hampered sales. Despite being practiced for more than 2,500 years, TCM is still far from integrated into mainstream medicine. Consumer skepticism still exists. The term traditional Chinese medicine could be limiting growth as traditional denotes “old” and Chinese could exclude consumers other than the Chinese from embracing this type of medicine. Richard Eu worried that Eu Yan Sang would not last long into the future and knew that a new vision was needed to propel Eu Yan Sang forward. Should Richard Eu continue to position Eu Yan Sang as a player in the TCM market? Or should he reposition Eu Yan Sang in the healthy lifestyle market to reach out to new consumers? These were important questions to answer as they would affect the development of a new vision—as visioning is an essential step in driving change.

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