Dr. Michael Ong and Dr. Terrence Teoh established One Doc Medical Sdn Bhd two years ago with the goal of being the number one laser treatment in Malaysia. They have since achieved that dream but the young and dynamic aesthetic medical doctors are not in any way resting on their laurels. They want to continue delivering the best results for their clients.
Beauty is big business, and the beauty business is gaining traction in Malaysia in tandem with a growing population, rising income levels and increasing awareness of medical tourism. With the increase in the number of aesthetic clinics in the country, aesthetic medicine has become a fairly robust field with more procedures being introduced without the need for invasive surgery.
One Doc Medical focuses on non-invasive facial treatments and is currently recognized as a leading laser and aesthetic centre in Malaysia for skin-related problems such as acne, pores, pigmentation and ageing skin. Established by young and dynamic aesthetic medical doctors two years ago – Dr. Michael Ong and Dr. Terrence Teoh – One Doc has been rapidly expanding across the country ever since.
A graduate from the University of Melbourne in Australia, 34-year old Dr. Terrence Teoh has been practising aesthetic medicine in Singapore for the past eight years. Seeing the aesthetic business maturing and becoming competitive in the island nation while observing the growing demand for skin perfection treatments in Malaysia, Dr. Teoh decided to implement the successful aesthetic business model and high standards from Singapore in Malaysia. Along with Dr. Michael Ong, an aesthetic medical practitioner for three years, they set up two One Doc outlets which subsequently expanded to nine locations in major cities across the country.
“When we first started One Doc, our concept was to specialize in skin treatments for problems relating to acne, pores, pigmentation and anti-ageing,” says Dr. Ong, the 30-year old University of Malaya medical graduate. “This is because 90% of skin problems are related to these areas. As such, we spend a lot of money and efforts in Research & Development (R&D) on how to give the best treatment that targets these four skin problems.”
From its research, One Doc has come up with the 4-Step Signature Medical Facial treatment which had won the Marie Claire Beauty Awards 2018 for best medical facial. “The 4-Step Signature Medical Facial treatment targets the superficial and deep layer skin to treat skin problems. We have seen good results in customers who apply a combination treatment that includes this signature medical facial,” explains Dr Ong.
“We initially started with laser treatments. However, to achieve the best results, we need a holistic approach in combining different types of treatments to tackle skin problems in various parts of the face. This is to remove different root causes contributing to the problems. After going through a number of cases, we realised that a combination treatment is the best approach.”
Dr. Teoh comments, “The effectiveness of this holistic approach has helped us to grow our business. We have other businesses as well – nine outlets for facial treatments and four outlets for hair restoration treatments. All in all, we have thirteen outlets.”
With the aggressive expansion of their aesthetic business – a new outlet opening every two months – One Doc is now known as the top laser centre in Malaysia. “We aim to be the number one and best laser centre in the region,” Dr. Ong shares. “When people think of laser treatment to beautify themselves, they think of One Doc. We are a results-driven company, prioritizing our clients first. At the same time, we are transparent about our treatments and pricing.”
“We intend to be the number one derma care of choice, hence we chose our name as One Doc. ‘One’ for number one and ‘Doc’ is short for Dermacare of Choice,” says Dr. Teoh with a hearty laugh.
One Doc outlets do not offer plastic surgery or injectable treatments like botox but instead, specialise in non-invasive treatments such as lasers, stem cells and microdermabrasion. With a total staff strength totalling seventy both in management and at the retail outlets, the One Doc aesthetic doctors train their team well following strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), ensuring that the same protocol and procedures are applied in every outlet and treatment. With the support of a strong team, they were able to grow their business by leaps and bounds to overcome major obstacles.
Dr. Teoh admits, “We have to thank our team for the rapid expansion of our business. In the early stages of our business, we faced challenges in marketing ourselves but we knew that challenges happen in every business. Therefore, we invested a lot in digital marketing – in fact, One Doc is one of the top digital marketers in aesthetic business – we produced interesting content and were transparent in what we were doing and what we could do to serve our clients. Hence, people are willing to give us a try”.
“Apart from using digital marketing, we overcame challenges by focusing on R&D, acquiring advanced machines, keeping up to date with the latest technology and constant efforts to improve ourselves,” he adds.
“The main challenge in aesthetic market nowadays is that new laser technology and new stem cells are produced every year,” reveals Dr. Ong. “As a result, clients have higher expectations, wanting better treatments. For the past six months, we have visited other countries such as Korea and Thailand to find out the best treatment protocol and the best laser machines available. We recently acquired the latest advanced laser machine – Pico Laser – with the intention to upgrade all of our outlets with this new laser machine.”
That said, there are people who are still skeptical about facial laser treatments, concerned about side-effects and the potential downtime that may prevent them from working or their daily routine. To this, Dr. Teoh explains, “With the latest technology, treatments are non-invasive and do not have any side-effects. The reason why people are concerned about side-effects because they have been influenced by talk about laser treatments using old technology that was twenty years ago”.
“Furthermore, non-invasive treatment is the latest trend,” affirms Dr. Ong. “Everyone wants to beautify themselves and still able to continue with their daily activities as well. People used to be concerned about the downtime and skin-peeling effects for they were afraid that they could not go to work or pick their children up from school. With the current laser treatment, they can put on their make-up and continue with their daily routine.”
As a young aesthetic start-up company, One Doc has recently won two awards for their outstanding performance: The 2018 Emerging Asia Award for ‘Outstanding SME’ and the 2018 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Award for ‘Aesthetic Medicine Growth Excellence Leadership.’
Looking at the awards, Dr. Teoh quietly smiles and says, “We are very proud and honoured to have won the awards. This shows that our hard work is being recognised. To me, we are still very much in touch with our clinical work. To be able to help patients who have severe skin problems that bothered them for many years, seeing them smile and thanking us for their skin improvements is hugely rewarding. As such, I don’t see any problems in expanding our business further because our aim has always been to deliver good results to our clients.”
He adds, “The awards are just a milestone in our business for there’s a lot more to do. It depends on how far you want to go in this business or how far you think it’s enough. We want to do more and we believe we can deliver more.”
The young aesthetic doctors have ambitious plans for One Doc, intending to target a total of twenty outlets in their home country in the immediate future, to diversify into hair restoration treatments and to roll out to other markets in South-East Asia within the next three to five years’ time.
Such ambitious plans are awe-inspiring and its rewards are potentially attractive particularly for young medical practitioners who wish to go into aesthetic medicine. However, Dr. Ong advises, “To become an aesthetic doctor, this means going into business and giving up the conventional career path of being a specialist. Many medical doctors want to try aesthetic but hesitate as it requires stepping out of their comfort zone. So, dream big and dare to fail.”
Dr. Teoh concurs, “Be Brave. Competition is everywhere in this market, therefore you need to think about your unique selling point, only then you will be able to survive in the market and be prosperous.”