Together, IPI Innovation Advisors Francois Joubert, Shivendu Nadkarni and Mike Amour guide Creme Concepts to new heights—enhancing the ice cream empire’s operational efficiency and regional brand presence.

 

It all started with a craving, a sweet tooth and a big dream. Natasha Chiam has always been an avid baker, delighting in the creation of sweet treats—ice cream sandwiches, in particular. Her love for baking took a delightful turn into entrepreneurship with the founding of Creme Concepts Pte. Ltd. and its flagship brand, The Ice Cream & Cookie Co., which has evolved from a humble stall at a local farmer’s market into one of Singapore’s premium ice cream brands.

Under Natasha’s leadership, Creme Concepts has distinguished itself with an array of innovative, vegan and Southeast-Asian flavoured ice creams—from Onde-onde and Chendol to boba tea—that cater not only to traditional sweet-tooths but also to health-conscious consumers. In addition to its retail brand, the company also helps clients take their own frozen treats from ideation to market launch, ensuring that they can focus on brand building while leaving the production complexities to Natasha’s dedicated team.

As Creme Concepts set its sights on expanding regionally and improving internal processes, Natasha engaged three of IPI’s Innovation Advisors (IA) across two projects. The team of advisors included Francois Joubert, with his extensive background in manufacturing operations and supply-chain management; Shivendu Nadkarni, a guru in commercial strategy and business growth; and Mike Amour, a specialist in branding and marketing.

Our main challenges were about scaling production capacity, elevating our brand’s reach, as well as upskilling our team,” Natasha shared. “I have always run the business through a hands-on, experience-based approach, and am now keen to understand how industry veterans go about solving these challenges.”

Like pieces of a puzzle, each IA played a crucial role in gearing up Creme Concepts’ next phase of growth. For instance, IA Francois helped the company rethink and redesign its factory layout, equipment selection and operational workflows to optimise production flow and boost output efficiency. Leveraging his knack for aligning commercial and operational goals, IA Shivendu assisted in creating a robust framework that balanced supply, demand and financial planning, ensuring that the company’s internal processes are well-oiled. Meanwhile, under IA Mike’s guidance, Creme Concepts underwent a branding refresh that fortified its market presence and unified its brand identity, making it resonate across customer touch points.

Creme Concepts partnership with the IA trio proved transformative. Previously on the brink of expansion and having just settled into a new factory facility at the start of the project, the company is now ready to send its first international shipments to Malaysia and Hong Kong. It is also building on its ‘better-for-you’ proposition back at home—in July 2024 it will relaunch all its existing ice creams with 30–40 per cent less sugar, using raw, healthier alternatives derived from coconuts.

Reflecting on her journey, Natasha said, “One commonality between all IAs is that they do not tell you how to run your business or dictate what the final decision should be. Instead, they share their insights, challenge your thinking and teach you how to approach challenges and decision-making. It’s a wonderful, collaborative process and my team and I have learnt so much from each of them.”

“The IAs’ motivation to share their knowledge with entrepreneurs and smaller businesses makes the [Innovation Advisors] very special,” Natasha added.

Looking ahead, Natasha’s vision for Creme Concepts is crystal clear: to dominate the Southeast- and North-Asian markets and become synonymous with Singaporean ice cream—renowned not just for its unique flavours but for its approach to business and innovation.