Merlion Project

Ramesh Krish Kumar, founder of Asmara, shares his thoughts on Merlion Project’s Human Library

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We were delighted to have Ramesh Krish Kumar, founder of Asmara Singapore, join us as a guest speaker during our Human Library at Sandbox Somerset on 3 Dec 2022.

Asmara is a premium Singapore brand that integrates Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Jamu with scientific breakthroughs to create beverages, snacks, and elixirs.

Passion drive Ramesh and his co-founder from to keep striving through struggles. Their mantra: “Always do what makes you happy. Passion is the fibre that drives your very being.”

Would you sleep at 3 am and wake up at 7 am every day to grow a business you’re passionate about?

Ramesh detailed his four-year journey on how a person with zero business/marketing background, no available funding, continuously rejected grants and minority struggles, grew his company at the peak of COVID.

The below is an excerpt from @rameshwara, as he shares his thoughts after being invited to be a guest speaker at Merlion Project’s human library:

“I was honoured to be invited by Merlion Project x Somerset Belt x National Youth Council to be a “human library” and share my journey, failures, and challenges. We love discussing a book’s good pages, but we must reflect on the many dark pages that form the bulk of a book.

Asmara Singapore was born purely out of passion. I have aspired to be a teacher or a healer/doctor since a young age. But instead, I found the perfect “ikigai” of being a food scientist cum apothecarist who works with rare herbs, novel foods, and various scientific concoctions. So, I delved into learning more about herbalism and traditional medicine when pursuing my food technology postgraduate in New Zealand.

Starting, running, or even selling – a business/brand is no easy task. It requires a lot of passion, a good team, excellent co-workers, wit, grit and failures. My journey has never been smooth and will never be; that’s the beauty of a startup business. Behind my smiles, jokes, and laughter are deep scars and struggles that many are unaware of. However, I have fought and struggled to get where I am today, despite the number of rejected grants, failed funding, racial disparity, and slamming of doors. However, these past struggles and burning passion will allow me to inspire, grow, and learn.
However, the most awe-inspiring aspect of running your own business from scratch is the “learning” curve. You learn things that no school, workplace, or teacher can ever empower you with. As a science student with a primarily technical background, it was highly alien to comprehend concepts of business or marketing. I had to strip my status as a scientist and dress up as a marketer, salesman, investor, pitcher, designer, photographer, editor, writer, fighter, manufacturer, safety officer, and inventor for Asmara. I still recall that our brochures, labels and name card were designed using PowerPoint software.

Passion, ikigai, and grit are three fundamental keys influencing your satisfaction and happiness in your education, business, family, or career! But don’t follow the herd blindly or be grade-obsessed! Be different! Do what you love and love what you do!”

Follow Ramesh Krish Kumar on Instagram.

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