LIFE POWER LIST 2015

Poster girl for start-up success

11) MS ALEXIS HOROWITZ-BURDICK, 33, founder of Luxola

Founder of beauty e-tailer Luxola, Ms Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, is undoubtedly 2015's poster girl for start-up success, after her four- year-old business was acquired in June by French luxury goods conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, better known as LVMH.

Though financial details have not been released, industry insiders believe the deal to be in the tens of millions - making it one of the largest acquisition deals to have taken place in the past three years and rightly earning her a debut spot on the Power List.

She founded the business in 2011. Back then, she had only four employees and a stocklist of 18 cult beauty brands.

Four years later, the business has grown into a multi-country enterprise - carrying more than 250 brands and operating in 11 markets in the region, including Australia, the United Arab Emirates and India. It raised more than US$15 million (S$21.1 million) in funding before the buyout.

But how did the savvy American, who is based in Singapore, achieve success in such a short time? She has a confident answer: "Commit to your vision, trust in your team and stay scrappy."

For her, that meant getting her hands dirty from the beginning - doing everything from packing orders one day to convincing investors about her business the next.

"It taught me about every aspect of the business and also which areas were better off delegated to someone with more expertise. The success has definitely been a team effort."

She is married to Mr Aman Bedi, who works in the financial industry. The couple do not have any children.

Post-acquisition, she has taken on the position of managing director of e-commerce and digital at Sephora Asia and will help grow the company's e-commerce business in the region. Sephora is LVMH's cosmetics subsidiary.

She says of this new phase of her career: "It's been a great opportunity for me and my team to continue to challenge ourselves as we grow.

"But more than that, it vindicates the strength and potential of e-commerce in the region. As an entrepreneur at heart, that's what I'm most proud of."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2015, with the headline 'Poster girl for start-up success'. Print Edition | Subscribe