Newport Beach entrepreneur Asma Ishaq, CEO of Modere – a global, live-clean lifestyle brand of supplements, household, and personal care products based in Newport Beach – has ranked fourth on this year’s 50 Fastest Growing Woman-Owned/Led Companies list by Women Presidents Organization and JP Morgan Chase Commercial Banking.
This is the third year in a row that Ishaq has ranked in the top five, a distinction she says stems from a disruptive social commerce business model; one that utilizes personal influence to create unique opportunities for emerging product categories as well as a lasting impact in the health & wellness and clean-label, personal care products space.
To qualify for the ranking, businesses must be privately held, woman-owned or -led, and have reached annual revenues of at least $500,000 in each of the past five years. Eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth.
Under Ishaq’s leadership, Modere has grown into a leading consumer products company that develops and markets clean, health & wellness products globally through ecommerce and direct-to-consumer channels.
The company’s portfolio includes a complete range of beauty and personal care, nutrition and household essentials that are formulated without the use of thousands of controversial chemicals and compounds. This holistic live clean philosophy drives every aspect of the brand, going beyond its ingredient paradigm to encompass business operations, company culture, community activism and environmental advocacy.
Modere serves a growing community of over three million loyal customers around the world, and maintains a presence in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and India.
“With 120 to 150 products per market, and operations in 44 countries around the world,” said Ishaq, “it adds up to over 1,000 clean label SKUs.”
Last December, Modere opened its first Brand Experience Center in New York City’s famed SoHo district. This state-of-the-art destination offers customers an enhanced, immersive product experience.
“The interior is very clean with lots of white space, so that just by stepping into the Brand Experience Center, you can actually feel what it is like to adopt a clean lifestyle,” said Ishaq. “What’s more, it’s an opportunity for us to test products and new concepts directly with consumers, which allows us to gain valuable insights and informs our decisions when it comes to future product development.”
Product development marks the origins of Ishaq’s career. She started by developing personal care products for various companies, from retail to direct response to mass chains. She also worked with ingredient supplies and played a key role on a team that discovered a unique collagen well before collagen supplements emerged as a nutrition category.
“At one point, I was in a meeting pitching my ingredient to one of the world’s largest nutrition and health companies, and they said something that really made me sit up,” recalled Ishaq. “Because no one really understood the benefits of collagen supplements back then, they agreed to take it on the condition that they could videotape me discussing the ingredient, to explain the story to the consumer. That was my ‘a-ha’ moment — I realized that I needed to engage directly with the consumer, rather than just developing the product to hand it over to a marketer.”
And so, Ishaq developed a product line based on her innovative ingredient, and launched her company in 2008.
“I started the company from nothing, no funding or backing. So I put in a lot of sweat equity, spending nights and weekends working on it,” said Ishaq. “As a single mother, I was highly motivated to do right by my daughter and afford her college education someday.”
Her sweat equity paid off. Ishaq’s product became so successful that it led to an acquisition in 2017 by a larger company that offered strategic complements. “I was only in the U.S. and Canada at the time, but the acquiring company had a global presence, so it was a great fit,” said Ishaq. “And in January 2018, that company appointed me CEO. I have contributed my leadership to the business and been driving growth ever since.”
“It’s been a great experience,” she added, “and I am excited about our future. We are creating one of the world’s most influential brands focused on the health & wellness of consumers who are looking for scientifically backed formulations that are as safe as they are effective.”
So what keeps Ishaq motivated?
“Achievement drives me,” she stated. “I also hope to inspire other people, other women, other minorities. Early in my career I did not see a lot of women leaders. I am obliged to represent. If my journey can inspire one person to say ‘Maybe I can do it,’ I would be gratified.”
For more information on Modere, visit www.Modere.com.