There’s a ton of misinformation floating around online about supplements, and with countless brands out there, it’s easy for people to feel lost and unsure about where to begin their research. Beauty Insider lays all your worries to rest with an in-depth chat with Patrick Fam, General Manager at LAC Malaysia, the leading health and wellness supplement brand in the country. Read our chat down below, where we covered all the bases, including Patrick’s role at LAC Malaysia, what the supplement scene is like here, trends in the wellness world, and even the future projects coming up for the company very soon.

Our Interview with Patrick Fam, General Manager of LAC Malaysia

Hi Patrick! Could you give our readers a quick rundown about yourself and what you do at LAC Malaysia?

Hi! Thanks for having me on Insider Spotlight. My name is Patrick Fam, and I am the General Manager at LAC Malaysia, a leading health and wellness supplement brand with a global presence. I lead the team in Malaysia, and this year will be my second decade with LAC. 

As the General Manager, I handle a broad spectrum of responsibilities and wear multiple hats. These include overseeing the company’s overall performance, driving business expansion, ensuring product quality, and partnership discussion. But the most important part is taking care of our employees’ welfare to ensure the team is well supported. The overarching goal at LAC has always remained since Day One, which is to make LAC the reliable companion and one-stop supplement retailer for everyone. 

You’ve been with LAC Malaysia for almost two decades now, a truly remarkable amount of time! Can you share a bit about how the company has grown during your time there?

LAC was founded with the vision to help people live better lives by offering them a solid foundation for their well-being. Since its establishment, LAC has always aspired to be the pioneer in delivering supplements that are formulated with a blend of scientifically-based ingredients with the best of Eastern wisdom and Western technology.

Our headquarters is in Singapore, LAC Global, and we’ve established a global presence since 1997. In 2001, the company decided to venture into Malaysia and launched its first store at Mid Valley Megamall. Four years later in 2005, I joined the company as the Finance Manager. It’s been a long journey for me but it’s incredible to witness the company’s growth from just a humble few stores to 69 stores now across Malaysia over the past 20 years! What’s more notable is that LAC Malaysia has also established itself as having the most registered health and wellness supplements with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), showing our dedication to delivering quality products to our consumers. 

At LAC, we strive to provide convenience and an extensive range of high-quality supplements to support every individual’s daily health and wellness needs, ensuring they stay well and live life to the fullest.

Before landing your current role, you were mainly working in accounting and finance. What made you switch gears and take on more responsibilities at LAC Malaysia?

When I started working at LAC, I quickly became very involved in operations, especially in purchasing, warehousing, IT, store development, and many more. When we first started, LAC Malaysia was still in its infancy stage – as managers, we had to wear many different hats! Because I am finance-trained, I am able to manage costs and expenses within expectations. Personally, I am passionate about the business, especially how supplements can improve one’s quality of life. With all of these considered, I slowly moved up the ladder from my initial position in Finance and now 20 years later, I am honoured to still be working here at LAC, as passionate and involved with the business as I had been when I first started. 

What’s the supplement scene in Malaysia like? What types of vitamins are Malaysians into the most?

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2019, Malaysia has alarming health statistics: one in two adults is obese, one out of five has Type 2 diabetes, three in ten have hypertension, four in ten have raised total cholesterol levels, and one in five rates their health as “not good”. These figures are cause for concern.

I believe that many of these issues stem from our diet. Malaysians are known for their love of food, but often, we’re not as mindful about what we eat daily. The survey revealed that 95% of Malaysian adults do not meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and our sugar consumption is high. Eating healthily can be challenging, especially with busy schedules.

This is where supplements can help fill nutritional gaps. Supplements are convenient and easy to incorporate into daily routines, offering a wide variety of options to complement different lifestyles. In Malaysia, multivitamins, fish oil, joint health supplements, weight loss aids, anti-aging formulas, and cardiovascular support supplements are among the most popular choices.

That being said, do note that supplements are complementary and not meant to be replacements.
Hence, it is still important to eat a balanced, healthy diet and get regular exercise for your overall
health.

As Malaysia is so diverse, it’s safe to say that your customers come from all walks of life. How does LAC Malaysia make sure that your supplements meet the different needs of all your customers?

At LAC, over 70% of our frontline staff are certified nutritionists or dietitians, ensuring they offer expert guidance to customers on their nutritional needs and lifestyle choices. Our extensive range of supplements includes the LAC Probiotic Complex series, LAC Leancut series, LAC Activated series, LAC Taut series, LAC Junior series, and more. For instance, our LAC Probiotic Complex series features a variety of probiotic strains tailored to different health needs, offering varying levels of probiotic CFUs. Additionally, our compound nutritional supplements like LAC L.Pro for liver health and LAC BSpeed for cognitive function are designed to address specific health concerns.

Quality is paramount at LAC, with all our supplements meeting rigorous manufacturing standards and approved by NPRA, as indicated by the MAL registered number and authenticity hologram on our products. The Ministry of Health’s stringent approval process ensures consumer safety, distinguishing our locally approved products from those purchased online from less regulated markets. As Malaysian consumers, we benefit from these strict regulations, ensuring the supplements we consume are safe and effective.

How do you stay in the loop with what’s trending in the wellness world and what people are into these days?

LAC has been a longstanding member of the Malaysian Dietary Supplement Association (MADSA). We actively stay updated with medical and supplement journals, both locally and internationally. The internet serves as a valuable resource, providing access to trending information. Despite conducting thorough research, it remains crucial for us at LAC to undergo our rigorous product development process and local registration before products are listed in our stores. While it’s advantageous to stay current and offer trending products, maintaining our commitment to safety and assurance through stringent quality control measures is paramount for LAC.

There’s a lot of talk about supplements these days, some folks swear by them while others brand them as placebos. What’s your take on that?

What works for one person may not work for another or may have less impact. Some people see immediate effects after consuming supplements, while others take longer. Since no two body compositions are the same, replicating the same effect from one person to the next is challenging.

However, I firmly believe that supplements help people thrive. For example, when planting trees, some receive fertilizer and some don’t. Which ones do you think grow faster and taller? The same applies to humans. For instance, people who frequently avoid the sun might develop a Vitamin D deficiency, and vegetarians might lack Vitamin B12. Supplements can help provide your body with the daily nutrition it needs to function at its best.

I believe that as you age, you will need some supplementation to fill nutritional gaps. Your lifestyle and diet may need support, and while the effects might not be immediate, they build up over time to maintain your health and wellness at optimal levels, compared to doing nothing to support your well-being.

How does LAC Malaysia team up with fitness buffs and nutritionists to make sure their sports and energy supplements are both doing the job and flying off the shelves?

Many of the fitness and wellness influencers we work closely with are existing customers of LAC! So it’s very easy for us to work with them since they’ve been using our supplements all along and understand our brand well. Fortunately, we don’t have to do a lot of convincing and selling – our supplements do all that for us.

Our in-house nutritionist also works closely with our team of KOLs. She helps them understand their lifestyles better and what they need most at the moment before introducing any new products to them. It’s really like how we would serve our own customers in our stores actually – by truly understanding their needs, diet, and lifestyle before recommending the supplements they need. The results from our supplements really speak for themselves!

Here’s your chance to give a little sneak peek! Are there any new projects coming up for LAC Malaysia in 2024 that we should know about?

We consistently introduce new and innovative products to the market. I can’t tell you any specifics yet for 2024 as many are still in the process of getting approvals from the relevant authorities. One thing I can say though is that we definitely have some interesting launches lined up in store, something new almost every month!

Stay tuned – click here and here to follow our social media channels for updates. Even better, join the LAC Club Membership programme where you not only get the latest information on our launches and promos but also enjoy members-only privileges, special discounts, earn LAC$ when you purchase with us, and many more perks. Just make any purchase in stores or on our website linked here to register as a member. We are also expanding at the moment, with a new physical retail store coming up soon in Intermark Mall – keep an eye out!

Make sure to follow Beauty Insider on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news updates.

The post Real or Placebo? Chatting Supplements with Patrick Fam, General Manager of LAC Malaysia appeared first on Beauty Insider.

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