Hyflux is one of Singapore's most uplifting success stories, a one-woman start-up turned multinational firm that provides clean water for markets around the world.
But founder and chief executive Olivia Lum would be the first to tell you that this success was hard fought.
"Nobody who starts a business anticipates how difficult it will be," she said.
"When you start off as a small company you are not well-recognised, because you have no brand and Singapore is a mature and competitive market."
In fact, Hyflux began its journey of internationalisation because it was a matter of survival, she added.
"Singapore customers, when they saw that my office address was not very sexy, in Tampines Industrial Park, they knew that I was a small firm and practically nobody believed in me," she said.
"One solution, I thought, was to go to Malaysia, because with my Singapore address, Malaysian customers won't know how big or small I was."
So Ms Lum began venturing into the Johor Baru market.