Beijing Tong Ren Tang: Bringing Traditional Chinese Medicine to the World
According to the China Global Television Network, it was reported that 85% of the COVID-19 patients in China were treated using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). More astoundingly, medical guides on the use of TCM to tackle the pandemic infection were translated and shared with the World Health Organisation.
This is only one instance that illustrates the rapid proliferation of the ancient medicinal practice on the global stage, beyond its place of origin. In this interview article, Mr. Tan Lee Huak, Vice President of Beijing Tong Ren Tang Science Arts (Singapore) Co. Pte. Ltd., shares how the Chinese pharmaceutical company Beijing Tong Ren Tang (BTRT) is making the art of healing of TCM accessible to a younger market and expanding its presence in Asia and Global.
Question: How has BTRT taken advantage of the trend where TCM is increasingly gaining acceptance internationally, to expand its presence in Asia and Global?
Mr. Tan: TCM is no longer just a form of medical treatment for the older generation. It is becoming much more accessible to younger patients. Customers aged under 40 account for about 30 to 40 percent of our patients.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension or modern afflictions such as physical discomfort due to sports injuries or stress are just some of the ailments that plague today’s urban population — and they are addressed by one of our four Beijing Tong Ren Tang clinics in Singapore.
We have ‘Tuina’ practitioners that can treat muscular or tendon sprains using massage, or TCM physicians who can reverse the negative effects of anxiety, poor sleep, and blurred vision. It usually starts with taking of pulse. Physicians will then proceed to treat fatigue with acupuncture and, depending on the situation, medication.
Nowadays, with modern production technology and the strict spirit of striving for perfection, BTRT is well-known internationally for its unique formula, superior selection of materials, exquisite craftsmanship, and remarkable efficacy.
Leveraging years of accumulated experience in Chinese medicine, we will continue to introduce new ideas to the public and provide high-quality, confidence-guaranteed proprietary Chinese medicine products and services.
Question: With the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers now have a revised attitude towards health and wellness. What has BTRT done to capitalise on the opportunities that come along with the trend?
Mr. Tan: In facing the covid pandemic, consumers are paying greater interest and attention to their health and wellness, which is beneficial for BTRT since that is what we promote as a brand.
During the time, the company has actively provided the public with health-preserving recipes, fitness exercises, seasonal precautions, anti-epidemic information, and product introductions through social media platforms.
By stepping in the gap to provide the public with more health knowledge of Chinese medicine, we hope to be able to capture the market opportunities.
So, to tap on the changing attitudes of consumers, our brand has been conscientiously promoting healthy living habits and creating awareness on how TCM can address different health needs and offer immunity-boosting.
And as always, from TCM diagnoses and decoction services to customer service attitude, the staff of BTRT strives to treat customers with sincerity, providing high-quality and professional consultation and physiotherapy services. As a brand, we upkeep our product quality regardless of COVID or not.
Question: Recognised yearly as the Most Trustworthy Brand in the TCM category, what would you say is BTRT’s competitive advantage?
Mr. Tan: Our competitive advantage has always been the high-quality products that we offer, excellent customer service, and our ability to anticipate change.
Beijing Tong Ren Tang is one of the largest producers of traditional Chinese medicine. Our company is headquartered in Beijing, and we engage in both manufacturing and retail sales. Our drug stores operate predominantly in Chinese-speaking regions including Singapore.
Known as “an imperial medicine brand with high-quality cures and treatments, and the choice of confidence”, our brand was founded in 1669 by Dr. Yue Xianyang, a famous physician. A rare, time-honored brand in the industry, the rich pharmaceutical experience that BTRT has is built upon providing imperial medicines for the Qing court for 188 years.
This towering standard for pharmaceuticals has been passed down to this day.
Over the years, we have been adhering to the spirit of ” Nurture kindness and virtue within, Build up a healthier world”. Besides that, we have always adhered to Tong Ren Tang’s ancient motto: “No compromise on cost and labour despite the complexity of processing herbal medicines. No compromise on quality and standard despite the scarcity of medicine ingredients.”
Starting from the selection of materials, following the first-class, pure, and authentic standards, our medicinal materials have undergone strict screening and processing techniques to maintain the highest quality of our products.
The result? The production of well-known products such as Baifeng pills (they regulate qi and menstrual cycles), Da Huo Luo Dan (commonly consumed to dispel wind and remove dampness), and Sporoderm-Broken Ganoderma Lucidum Spores Powder Capsules that boost immunity and promote better sleep.
Question: How does BTRT stay relevant being a traditional brand? And how is the brand reaching out to the younger market?
Mr. Tan: As mentioned, one of BTRT’s competitive advantages is our ability to anticipate change. By that, we are looking at not just adapting to them but leading the transformation of the industry.
As a brand, we are always looking for opportunities to innovate and we are dedicated to creating new and more relevant products consistently. This is one of their trump cards to avoid getting disrupted by a slew of newcomers.
We make it a practice to always pay attention to market needs and do research on health-concerned people before developing any new products.
Apart from that, we must keep updated on the latest trends such as the 5G technology, big data, artificial intelligence and how they play into the development of our new products and services, business models, and customer engagement strategies.
To appeal to the younger generation, we also offer services targeted to fertility problems on top of the modern ailments mentioned earlier.
However, the company’s marketing efforts do not highlight this sensitive and potentially embarrassing issue, leaving physicians to focus on addressing their patients’ physique or menstrual processes “so that they can understand the importance of physical health.”
Question: Has BTRT been able to leverage on the new technologies to scale the business and brand?
Mr. Tan: Digital technology is changing with each passing day and developing rapidly. Not only has it diversified our promotion methods, but it can also screen potential customer groups for more targeted advertising.
Faced with changes in consumption patterns in the market, coupled with the overall weakness of the retail market under the epidemic, BTRT has also opened our online sales channel. This is also part of our strategy to grow a new and younger customer base.
We have also partnered with popular express delivery platforms such as FoodPanda, to sell items like Baifeng pills, Banlangen granules, soup packs, and medicinal materials.
This not only increases the exposure of our products and brand but also expands the channels for product sales, allowing us to reach different customer groups and bring new business opportunities.