Beauty is more than skin deep… it’s a big business!

BEAUTY is more than skin deep. In fact, when it concerns pivoting from the pandemic to the endemic, beauty is a formidable topic of concern, as it finds itself paired with the big business of health and wellbeing.

And, in all sense of the word, beauty is a big business indeed.

In the beauty industry, no one understands the medical aesthetics business better than Datuk Dr Ko Chung Beng, a consultant dermatologist who is armed with a string of qualification credentials from the UK and locally.

Having the capability to envision how beauty is so much more than skin deep, he founded his aesthetic clinic Dr Ko Skin Specialist in 1997, navigated the group through various challenges including the unprecedented pandemic and managed to pivot the business into the endemic by identifying consumers’ changing needs.

“After the pandemic, we appreciate the significant change of consumer behaviour and noticed a significant increase of people searching for aesthetic medical services,” he told FocusM.

This phenomenon, he explained, could be a direct result of a “higher awareness of physical health and physical appearance” as well as “increased spending on experience-based services rather than material things”.

Sharing that the Global aesthetic and cosmetic procedures recorded a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11%-13%, he acknowledged that the current generation tends to pay more attention to physical looks.

This is mainly due to the social media influence which are mainly filled with more physically attractive people, he added.

According to the global findings of the “Medical Aesthetics Market by Product, Technology, End User – Forecast till 2030”, the market size was valued at US$13.9 bil (over RM61 bil) in 2021 and is expected to reach US$39.1 bil (over RM164 bil) by 2030 at 11.1% CAGR during the forecast period 2022–2030.

As for Dr Ko himself, his group managed to capture a double-digit CAGR compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2021.

As his clinics fall under the “essential services category”, his frontliners were operating during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period while his back-end support team was instructed to work from home.

“The whole organisation was very agile to face this unprecedented pandemic with major movement restriction,” he remarked.

Its strong value chain – with each division working hand-in-hand to support each other during the challenging time – was what saw the group through.

Agility in implementing tele-consultation services for patients who were not able to come to the clinic plus providing courier services of its products and medications proved pivotal strategies during the pandemic.

“During the lockdown period, we engaged all our doctors and staff to join in our virtual training programmes,” he added.

Attributing beauty as “the quality that giving pleasure to the senses or to the mind”, he opined that the current concept of beauty can be either defined “objectively or subjectively”.

While research shows that there are main attributes that humans find universally attractive include facial averageness, symmetry, sexual dimorphism, skin homogeneity and facial proportions, there are also theories that explain the subjective aspects of beauty such as philosophical theories, psychology, social, mass media influence and universal consensus.

His words certainly carry weight as DR. KO® Skin Specialist Centre has a huge group of professional expert medical teams overseeing aesthetic dermatology, lasers, wellness and cosmetic surgeries since the past 25 years.

Today, the group is recognised as one of Asia’s leading dermatology and laser centres, gaining the trust of medical professionals and clients across the globe.

Additionally, the KO Academy, established in 1997, is the pioneer in-house training department in Malaysia that has trained countless very successful medical aesthetic practitioners in Malaysia.

Many of these practitioners would later go on to start their own practice, and are currently influential medical aesthetic practitioners in the industry.

It continues to train any doctors who are interested in venturing into the medical aesthetic practice.

“Our mission is to provide safe, effective, innovative product and services while improving customer satisfaction by making sure our products and services are affordable and accessible to every state in Malaysia as well as internationally,” Dr Ko pointed out.

“We aim to also provide the best value to our patients and become a trustable aesthetic medical provider to them.”

The group is working diligently to become the top recognized dermatology, lasers and cosmetic surgery centre in the region while aiming to open its 100th brand in Malaysia next year.

This is done by way of providing the best services in aesthetic dermatology by strengthening core competencies via continuous training backed by research and development (R&D) to produce innovative products.

It recently held its inaugural medical conference known as the Asia Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine Summit (ADAMS) where the group conducted panel discussions with the related ministries from the government on the medical tourism industry.

The convention attracted speakers from Singapore, Philippines, Croatia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and Malaysia and at least 500 conference delegates with 30 participating exhibition booths, proving its mettle once more in the aesthetic convention industry. – Dec 13, 2022


Yvonne Yoong is Focus Malaysia’s contributing Property & Lifestyle Editor, seasoned in covering the property beat and other industries.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.                  

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