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Baby bottle maker Hegen is first Singapore brand to be featured in Alibaba Singles' Day extravaganza

A HOME-GROWN baby bottle manufacturer is set to take the stage at Chinese giant Alibaba's upcoming e-commerce extravaganza.

Hegen will be one of the 40 international brands in a 12-hour live broadcast for the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival - held on Nov 11, or "Singles' Day" in China.

It will be the first Singapore company on the programme of Feng Kuang Boss - Mandarin for "crazy boss" - which is a promotional event by the Tmall marketplace, a unit of Alibaba's Taobao e-commerce arm.

Co-founder and managing director Yvon Bock, 38, told The Straits Times that she agreed to go on the variety show - which is in its second year - "really out of Singaporean pride".

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She will join executives from global companies such as L'Oreal for various activities such as interviews.

Hegen, a two-year old family business producing and selling a proprietary square-shaped baby bottle, hit the Chinese market in September 2016.

It retails online on Tmall - which is reserved for consumer brands, unlike the direct consumer-to-consumer transactions on the main Taobao platform - as well as in more than 1,000 bricks-and-mortar stores in China."They were very excited to hear that it was a Singapore brand - and that is something we are very proud of," said Ms Bock."It took less than a year for Hegen to become number four, out of thousands of baby bottle brands." Sales in China are now roughly evenly split between online and offline transactions, with Ms Bock and her husband, Leon, 41, hoping to move more than half a million bottles in China in 2017.

This ambitious target stems partly from the Singles' Day exposure that is coming from her participation in Crazy Boss, which she was invited to join in mid-October.

Ms Bock said: "For the last two weeks, we have been ramping up our stock shipments and inventories."Based on what people in the industry tell us, it can be as much as a whole year of sales (in a day)." nnnn

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