GWOT 2016 Anisa Hassan
Anisa Hassan, 44, Managing Director, IJL Asia; Founder, Nusantara Health Pte Ltd

The premature birth of Anisa’s eldest daughter prompted her career switch. “The ungodly hours of shiftwork destabilised my life,” shares the former Channel NewsAsia broadcast journalist turned award-winning entrepreneur. “Becoming a mother changed my perspective about what’s really important to me,” adds the mum-of-two, who took a two-year hiatus to focus on family and to think things through. In March 2004, Anisa gave birth to her second child, then flew off to US to complete a month-long training in preparation for the franchise business she had decided to embark on. It’s Just Lunch Asia, an upscale match-making agency for busy professionals, was launched in July 2004. Now 12 years on, her company has matched thousands of singles worldwide, and arranged over two million dates. Not one to rest on her laurels, the business-savvy Anisa has also authoured two books about dating, and has recently launched Oobat, a range of doctor-developed health supplements which use traditional jamu as the key ingredient.

“Entrepreneurs are creators…
We create solutions for problems that have not been overcome or effectively addressed. The entrepreneurial journey is long, winding, and very interesting. Be prepared to play full out, even when success is not apparent.”

“Writing a book allows me to synthesise my ideas…
And express them in a manner that can reach and benefit more people. I write to give people hope and optimism, and help create possibilities where all they see is the end of the rope.”

I look up to a lot of people, especially the self-made women…
I love to read about success stories, and how these women overcome odds to get to the pinnacle of their careers or chosen businesses. One day, I hope to become an inspiration to the world. It’ll be exciting to see how this kampong girl emerges on the other side.”

If Anisa Hassan inspires you, vote for her in The Most Inspiring Award here. You will stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $1,230!

The Great Women Of Our Time 2016 is presented by Skin Inc and co-sponsored by Swarovski.