Reviving Eu Yan Sang

Abstract

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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Resources
Exhibit 1: Transformation of Eu Yan Sang

Videos that provide basic information on Eu Yan Sang are as follows.

Exhibit 2: Eu Yan Sang Best-Selling Products

Eu Yan Sang produces and sells more than 300 products. Its best-selling products include:

  • Bak Foong Pills help regulate menstrual flow and minimize discomfort for women;
  • Bo Ying Compound clears nasal discharge and phlegm for infants;
  • Bottled Bird’s Nest is a health supplement that boosts immunity and enhances beauty. This product is a popular health tonic that is high in glycoprotein. It is made from the saliva of swiftlets, a group of birds;
  • Lingzhi Cracked Spores Capsules strengthen the immune system;
  • Hou Ning Powder relieves cough; and
  • Essence of Chicken replenishes energy, reduces mental and physical fatigue, and nourishes blood.

Source: Eu Yan Sang corporate website. Retrieved from http://www.euyansang.com.sg/our-products/eyscorporate8.html

Exhibit 3: The Eu Yan Sang Vision, Mission, and Values
Vision

We aim to be global consumer healthcare company leading the way to integrative healthcare with our core focus in TCM.

Mission

We dedicate our business to the pursuit of offering the best natural healthcare products and services to our customers—caring for mankind—by helping them realize good life-long health.

Values

Leadership—staying ahead in every aspect of TCM industry.

Humanity—to always reflect respect for human life and genuine care for its well-being in whatever we do.

Customer focused—to constantly seek new opportunities and ideas to develop consumer-centric products and services to meet and exceed their expectations.

Source: Eu Yan Sang 2002 Annual Report

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