For this week’s “Redbrick conversations with”, we met up with General Manager of theAsianparent, Ms. Diora Henson. theAsianparent Singapore is the content and community platform that helps parents across Asia in their conception, pregnancy and in raising happy, healthy & confident kids.
theAsianparent reaches out to 30 million parents every month through their parenting website and app. Their vision is to help families navigate their most important moments with data-driven solutions in the form of content, community and physical products.
Our team at Redbrick met with Ms. Diora and started chatting about life and work.
Q. Can you tell us more about yourself, and how you got to where you are today?
Diora: When I was younger, I LOVED ads and commercials. I can remember just yakking with my folks about the commercials, ads, jingles and what I felt and how they could do differently or how fabulous they were. I had even mashed up jingles and made them my own!
That was how I got started into the creative, advertising and branding industry. With the digital age, parenting has evolved. Since I became a parent, I’ve realised that brands need to understand parents, how to market to them and what parents actually need which are: Support from other parents, expert advice, making connections with other parents etc. Community is huge for parents and I married my past experiences with what I am currently doing now, to make it my goal to make a difference with the parents of today, creating conversations between brands and parents.
Q. What are some of the milestones you have reached on a personal level?
Diora: Hitting rock bottom – with family and health.
If I had never hit rock bottom, I don’t think that I will be where I am today.
At that time – of course, it seems like my entire world crashed, exploded and imploded. I felt hopeless, angry and negative about everything. But looking back, it forced me to become more resilient, a better version of myself and face the world in a whole new light and perspective.
Becoming a parent – guiding my son through life and teaching him all about the mistakes I had made when I was a teen and what the consequences were and most importantly walking with him throughout his journey knowing that whatever happens – his mummy (and of course his daddy will be there for him, every step of the way)
Realising what I am passionate about – having a passion is sexy.
For me, it’s parenting and sharing my experience with other parents and it is similar to always having a light-bulb moment – but the difference is that this light bulb is always on.
Q. What does success mean to you?
Diora: Success is an attitude and a state of mind. It is not measured superficially but I measure through the positive impact that I have made on the lives of others while doing what I love. Success to me also means always being there for and with my family, friends and team whenever they needed me.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
Diora: Spending time with family and my newest addition, my 18-month-old Golden Retriever.
I also enjoy swimming, getting a tan, watching movies and lastly, being a couch potato after a good brunch whilst snuggling with my husband, son and furry boy.
Q. What is one interesting fact about yourself that people don’t usually know?
Diora: I can cook and bake. Just name any dish…. I can whip it up!
Q. What is a regular workday like?
Diora: As General Manager, everything that happens in Singapore is under my purview – sales, campaign execution, operations, community engagement, finance and the list goes on. I make it a point to have 1-to-1s with the various teams regularly, but much of my daily time goes to value-adding to our strategy to achieve our company’s OKRs (Objectives & Key Results). For example, angle of sale pitches and ideas to grow our community.
Q. How does your organization maintain its appeal to consumers?
Diora: As Southeast Asia’s largest parenting community platform, we have diverse parenting communities across the region. It is key that we localise our content so that it resonates with local cultures and situations. This entails continuous engagement and feedback from the communities, and using data to keep track of user interests on our website and app.
Q. What are some of the important values the organization prides itself with?
Diora: Our values spell out CONGRATS – Curiosity, Ownership, Non-judgment, Gratitude, Radical Candour, Adaptability, Tenacity and Support the Family Unit.
As a start-up, curiosity to learn about how things work, adaptability to be quick to react and the tenacity to power through challenges are critical given the dynamic nature of the business. With many moving parts, people need to be responsible and take ownership of what they do. Every contribution plays a role in the growth and success of theAsianparent.
Things can get hectic and tense at times, but we have a gratuitous culture that encourages radical candour for improvement. Most importantly, we do not judge – be it our team or our parents. We aim to support the family unit through pregnancies and raising happy, healthy and confident children.
Q. What do you look out for when searching for a property?
Diora: Budget, area, and how the property will tie in with my own goals within the next 5-8 years or more.
Q. Do you believe in ‘leverage all I can’ or ‘pay down as soon as I can’ school of thought?
Diora: I am more towards the pay and finish paying as soon as I can.
Q. What kind of advice would you give to new homeowners and aspiring property investors?
Diora: New homeowners – especially couples who just got married – sometimes life does not work out the way you envisioned it to be.
My hubby and I thought it would just be the 2 of us and we bought an apartment with full sea-facing, made it totally NOT child-friendly but I had my son 1.5 years after we moved in.
Q. Which is your favourite estate in Singapore and why?
Diora: I love the east-coast of Singapore and everything surrounding that area.