LHAMOUR spreads the love
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LHAMOUR spreads the love

LHAMOUR spreads the love

The Founder of the LHAMOUR brand Ms. KHULAN DAVAADORJ

We invited the founder of the "Lhamour" brand, Ms. KHULAN DAVAADORJ for the interview  “Business Lady” of the magazine “Mongolian Women”. Her business, which she started in her kitchen, today leads in terms of quality and standards not only in Mongolia, but also in the world.

Ms. Khulan graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Renewable Energy Management and Formula Botanica School of Organic Cosmetics. She started the "Lhamour" brand in 2014. And in 2015 launched the first organic cosmetic products: bath balls, three types of lip balm and facial soap. She started the business alone, and today her company has 45 employees, produces about 60 types of organic cosmetic products, has three stores and also exports its products to Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, the USA, Kuwait and India.

- First of all, we want to congratulate you on the fifth anniversary of the "Lhamour" brand. What successes have you and your company achieved over the past five years?

- I began it just with empty dreams and ideas. Then I did not have a clear idea and plan, which I would like to achieve in five years. In the first three years I worked without a break, worked on weekends and on holidays. I think that thanks to this hard work, I was able to do a lot. The company, which had one employee, has expanded today and has 45 employees, has a factory that produces more than 60 types of products, as well as three stores. We are engaged in the production of not only cosmetic products, but also we produce health-friendly products. For five years we have been able to create innovation rather than manufacturing products. Especially we were able to combine our “special” Mongolian raw materials with internationally recognized raw materials, were able to obtain a patent for it and produce a product which is unique in the world. Using unique Mongolian raw materials, such as yak milk and goat milk, sea buckthorn, rosehip, thyme, thistle, we were able to create a final product that is useful for people with skin problems, allergies, excessively dry skin, eczema and diathesis. I believe that this is our great success. These products not only advertise our products in the world, but also make it clear that Mongolia is rich in natural raw materials, that the Mongols live close to nature. I tried to show that in Mongolia we can produce a complex product. We paid an attention not only to the product itself, but also to its quality, to the quality of the service, tried to produce a product that could solve skin problems, and also tried to produce a product that could compete in the international market. Paying attention to the above parameters, we were able to build a solid foundation and two years ago for the first time we were able to export our product to Hong Kong. After that our exports are constantly increasing, and today we export our products to 7 countries. Our customers have become official distributors, which has become the history in the international market. We are proud that they, using a specific product, experimenting it personally, began to devote their lives to this brand and company. In the near future we plan to export our products to Japan.

Her achievements:

  • The leading employee of the production sector of Mongolia, 2017
  • The best non-mining debut export of Mongolia, 2017
  • Was included in the list "Forbes 30 under 30", FORBES, Mongolia, 2017
  • LHAMOUR was included in the list "Top 100 Socially Responsible Startups", http://socialenablers.co/se100/, USA, 2017
  • Top 20 Women Leaders, The Government of the USA
  • LHAMOUR - The Best Startup, Unready.today, Mongolia, 2016
  • LHAMOUR - Asia's Top Responsible Small and Medium Business, Singapore, 2016
  • LHAMOUR - Asia's Top Entrepreneur, Taiwan, 2016
  • Top Entrepreneur, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia, 2015
  • The Best Small and Medium Business, The Ministry of Industry, 2015
  • The Best Brand Packaging, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia, 2015
  • Julius Blocker Fully Funded Scholarship, Columbia University
  • The Award "National Honor Society", Switzerland, 2005
  • Humanitarian Work Honors, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2004

- Entrepreneurs complain that there are many difficulties for exporting their products abroad, starting with the documentation process. Especially, cosmetic and food products must conform to international standards. Did you encounter difficulties in preparing documentation and in conforming to the international standards. How did you resolve these issues?

- Exporting products is not an easy work. But, if everything is prepared stage by stage according to the international standards, then little difficulty will arise. We produce single products according to the international standards. When we exporting products, various documentation is required. Therefore, sometimes we lose the time for this reason. For example, in order to start exporting our products to India, we spent six months. Our company exports 90% of the total export of cosmetic products of our country.

- Then, can it be said that companies not manufacture their products in accordance with the international standards, which is their mistake and obstacle in the export of products.

- Each product has its own standard. If you do not take into account the standards, then the final products will become poor-quality and they will not be able to export. Of course, in order to raise money in Mongolia, you can produce low-quality products. But, it will not last long. Therefore, from the beginning it is necessary to produce everything according to the standard. The standard was not created on its own. First of all, it must ensure human security. Especially if the corresponding products are related to human health, touching human skin, then the most important thing is to comply with standards.

- What products does your company mainly produce? You mentioned that you release a cream for people with allergies. What other products do you produce?

- Foot cream, body scrub, face and hair cream, and many other skin care products. Our products are suitable for everyday use, suitable for skin features, especially suitable for people with dry skin. If a person with an allergy uses a product with a chemical composition, then his allergy intensifies. And our products are natural, do not have a strong smell and color. Therefore, when a person with an allergy uses it, the allergy does not intensify, skin itching decreases, brings health benefits and nourishes the skin. Our products are organic cosmetic products, not therapeutic products.

- Please, explain the name of your company?

- I have an elder brother. I named the company after my brother’s daughter. LHAMOUR is a mix of "Lhamo" + "Amore". I combine these two words in the name of the company. I wanted to give a unique name in the world that will not happen again. "Lhamo" is the name of my niece, and "Amore" in French means "love". Our company is trying through the business to spread the philosophy of "love yourself, love others, love the planet". Loving yourself means taking care of your health and yourself, buying healthy products for yourself, expanding your knowledge of a healthy lifestyle and developing yourself. To love others means distributing knowledge and healthy products to others. What I create in the company as a leader is a sign of love for others. For example, reducing working hours for women, providing a permanent job. And the fact that we use recycled paper, conduct waste-free production, create a waste-free corner in our stores is an example of love for the planet.

- You come up with the idea of new products by yourself, as well as their design and label. Where do you get new ideas?

- I have sensitive skin that is prone to allergies. Therefore, I prepared the first 30-40 products for myself, using my knowledge. Produced what I would like to produce and use for myself. Then the number of customers was constantly increasing, they began to write to us what kind of product they want, which product is in demand for their families.

- An ordinary Mongolian woman initiated and created a big business that produces national products, cosmetic products. Probably, over the years you have had mistakes and successes.

- Previously, I did not do business, there were no other companies in Mongolia from which I could learn and share experience. Therefore, I learn from my mistakes. Of course, every day we face with difficulties.

- How do you overcome difficulties? Do you consult with someone?

- I do not tell others about my difficulties. Firstly, my difficulties do not concern others, and secondly, as I said earlier, there is no one who can teach and share experience. Thirdly, there must be personal experience. Therefore, I concentrate. If I know that I am using  my knowledge. If I do not know, then I read professional bibliography and other materials.

- Do others who produce similar products contact you? Do they ask you for help?

- Yes, they do. Even we ourselves conducted 3-4 times training "How to make the bath balls?" A lot of those who after this training started their business. But there are some people whose behavior goes beyond business ethics. Many people do not understand it from a business point of view. Our company have produced the bath balls and lip balm first. Therefore, we are glad to help others as much as we can. Sometimes, we are very open.

- Are there any cases when someone abused your help, copied your product?

- Yes, there have been many such cases. Even still there. Unfortunately, in such cases no measures are taken in Mongolia. At first we tried to discuss the issue peacefully, then we appealed to the legal authorities. And now we do not pay attention to such cases. We believe that if they copy us, then this is a sign that we are producing the right product. In Mongolia running any business is difficult.

- Perhaps we can say that there is no state support for small and medium-sized businesses. From the point of view of the entrepreneur what do you think, what kind of support from the government is demanded foremost?

- We have been carrying out our activities for 5 years without state support. The state presents difficulties rather than support. The tax environment is difficult. If the tax that we pay benefits Mongolia or our employees, then there is no problem. But in our country the tax system presents a burden, it is low efficient. Therefore it is difficult when you pay for an unprofitable goal the money earned by hard work. The legal environment is also incomprehensible. The state must develop a policy. And this policy will create a legal environment. In that case, we can solve our minor problems and carry out our work.

- In the cultural and sports sector the Mongols excel globally and become famous in the world. As a national manufacturer, the "Gobi" company is known worldwide, and the quality of its products is highly regarded. From the point of view of the entrepreneur, how do you think what other products can be exported?

- We can export exclusively everything. I believe that there is a vast opportunity before Mongolia. We not only produce cosmetic products, but also move to a healthy lifestyle. For example, in cooperation with others, we produce a lamp in the form of a Mongolian yurt from stone salt. If we will export these products, then the business of our partners will also expand. Therefore, there are many planned works. Personally, I planned to start another company that will be engaged in other activities.

- What is your favorite product?

- Each product changes the life of one of our customers. Therefore, I love all of our products. Most of all I like face base creams. These products have won a lot of success in the international market, they were written about in well-known foreign magazines. Also serum for the face is the result of my three years of research, experience. It is one of my favorite products, because a lot of time is invested in it. In the production of each product our soul is invested, so I love all of our products. We equate every new product with a newborn.

- Production probably consists of many stages. How do you organize the distribution of work? For example, how many people work in the factory?

- The factory employs about 15 people, all of them women. Starting from the processing of raw materials, manual work is required at all stages. We even produce bows for packaging ourselves. If a person does the job well, then we hire people regardless of age and gender. First of all, we take into account the individual approach and accuracy of that person. Organizational culture is open, it is aimed at human development. We hire high school graduates and train them. Also pensioners work for us. The activity of our company is aimed at creating stable development and a healthy person in Mongolia, at distributing healthy products to people. Since we distribute healthy products, the people who work with us should also be healthy. We also constantly conduct trainings of personal development. It seems to me that these types of activities are not enough in Mongolia. Therefore, our employees can develop themselves in terms of work, as well as personal growth.

- It sounds great. It is the most important approach that is currently lacking in the society. Most organizations do not care about employees, forcing them to work without rest. Especially, women are busy at work and at home.

- Our organization does not force employees to work overtime. Everyone leaves on time. At the request of workers to pick up children from kindergarten and schools in advance of traffic jams, we moved working hours. Now we work from 8 AM to 5 PM. The company is the place where an adult spends most of his time. It is the second family. Therefore if the company will support employees, it will help them to organize their personal lives.

- I am proud of your policy of supporting women. MWF also sets the main goal to convey its voice to protect the rights of every woman. What kind of work do you think the MWF should carry out for women?

- I believe that the MWF is a strong organization comparing to other non-governmental organizations. Therefore, it can carry out extensive activities. Especially, should pay attention to the issues of women's employment, fight against violence. There is a lot of violence in Mongolia today. Also it is important to conduct trainings for girls. If girls of teen years have enough knowledge, they will grow up strong, become positive mothers and strong women.

- I would like to be interested in your personal life. If the spouse does not understand and support, then in Mongolia it is very difficult for a woman to achieve success.

- I'm waiting for my first child. My spouse is also engaged in private business. We met when I was busy with work. He understands me, my plans for the future, my thoughts. Therefore he supports me, understands me. During pregnancy, he escorts me to work, meets from work, cooks dinner. He is very caring. My family also is very supportive of me and the activities of the company, understands me very well.

- Please tell us about your childhood.

- Our family moved to Germany when I was three years old. My childhood and school years passed in Europe. Almost every two years we moved from one place to another. After getting a Master's Degree in the USA, I came to Mongolia. I lived abroad for almost 20 years. I was a mobile child, interested in everything. My mother wanted me to be able to do a lot, so enrolled me to various circles. And I loved  them. In the school I was the most active. I tried everything. I was also interested in those that the boys loved. I prefer minimalism: I do not do makeup and do not like jewelry. People think that since I work in the cosmetics industry, I’m feminine. I love the car, I even worked for a car company. I like to travel, climbing, listening to hip hop music.

- Each person has an unforgettable memory. Do you have a memory related to a woman?

- Most of all I want to talk about my mother rather than about a memory related to a woman. The man who created today's me is my mother. Mom always taught that education should be at first. She also taught that a woman should have her own view, goal and dream. I believe that these are the most important qualities of women. Therefore I want all women to support each other to be strong. Especially, I want mothers to teach their girls as well.

- In Mongolia women find it difficult to succeed. Especially few women works at the decision-making level. Even if they are elected, society discusses their words and deeds. In your opinion, how can this stereotype established in society be changed?

- This stereotype is associated with customs. It directly related to our history. Women are strong, but men are elected to the level of decision-making. We must start it from our speech. For example, we are talking about a strong woman that she is better than a man. Or we call a difficult man that he is worse than a woman. In my opinion, young people are able to change this established stereotype. On the other hand, until now there have been few women from whom to take an example. And also we do not have a dictatorship comparing with other countries. Therefore, women should try to be role models for girls. And changing men is not easy.

- At the end of the interview, what advice would you like to give women entrepreneurs and girls that would inspire them?

- I am a young woman, as well as a woman who is waiting for a daughter. Therefore, I want to tell my daughter and all girls that they should be themselves. They must have their dream and goal, must be able to fight for them. If they can do this, then in the 21st century every thing is not limited by the borders of Mongolia. There are many opportunities to develop yourself, show yourself, achieve your dreams and goals. You can not set limits for yourself depending on age, gender, nationality, family status. A person lives only once, so he must be brave. IF YOU OPEN EYES AND HEART, YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING AND SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING. It seems to me that there are no boundaries in everything.

- Thank you for the interview. I wish you the best of success and wish you become a global brand.

L.Bulganchimeg

 

 



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