Jin Tan started his career in the hairdressing industry after he graduated from secondary school. After gaining years of experience, he realised that many companies in this industry would encounter bottleneck situations after operating for a few years. In an interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Tan shares about his creative idea in transforming his hair salon, Ecohair into a successful online e-commerce business.

Jin Tan’s passion in hairdressing started at a very young age. After gaining years of working experience, he established his company, Ecohair. “Ecohair started out as a regular hair salon. We used to own ten hair salons and they were renovated but unfortunately we had to close them down,” says Tan who encountered bottleneck situations at a period when a salon started attracting many customers. “We also encountered challenges when it comes to training our staff as they would need to master certain skills in this field.”

“I thought of a plan on how to transform Ecohair’s current business model so that the company could flourish. The idea was to educate people on hair care through the internet so that many people could take care of their hair and nourish it at home,” says Tan.

“Everyone needs to be skilled in a particular area. Hone your skills and start a well-planned business and you will be on the road to success”

Tan successfully converted Ecohair to its new system online in December 2019. “During the MCO period in March 2020, Ecohair generated a large amount of income and have assisted many agents financially during the period of the pandemic,” says Tan who believes that it is possible for people to attempt to set up an e-commerce platform for their businesses. “During the MCO period in April, our e-commerce sale of products exceeded 1 million items. Due to the system, we are also able to handle our orders and customers’ issues effectively.”

“I am very happy because I am able to assist many youngsters and housewives earn an income of four to five digits through e-commerce,” says Tan joyfully. “This greatly assists in reducing the financial burden of mothers as they do not need to solely rely on their husbands.”

Ecohair’s products are researched and developed similar to those used in the salon. “The purpose of our products is to bring convenience to customers in conducting their own hair treatment comfortably at home so it saves them time and effort in travelling to salons,” says Tan. “Our hairdressers would also have sufficient time to create new hairstyles for our customers.”

“However, the greatest challenge I faced is that the business wasn’t doing so well when I transferred Ecohair to an e-commerce platform as many customers started doing hair care at home. Due to the lack of customers coming to our salon, we lost 70% of our sales income. However, it was worth it as the sales from our e-commerce platform exceeded the yearly sales of our salon.”

Tan believes that his employees have the potential in doing a good job. “I will only assist them when they encounter problems. “I am glad that my agents are able to earn a decent income during the pandemic. This really motivates me as I yearn to greatly look forward to every employee in the company earning a good income,” says Tan proudly. “I believe that good teamwork is important for a company to succeed. My team trusts me in every step and decision I make for the company,” says Tan with a smile.

“I believe that work-life balance is compulsory. One shouldn’t sacrifice time with family due to a hectic work schedule. For me, I always ensure that I spend time with my family as well,” says Tan.

Tan advices youngsters who are starting out in business to withstand the temptation to quit. “Everyone needs to be skilled in a particular area. Hone your skills and start a well-planned business and you will be on the road to success.”


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