When Harith Iskander and Dr Jezamine Lim Iskander took the stage at Ruyi & Lyn in Bangsar Shopping Centre, the thunderous applause from the audience could’ve been mistaken for that of a crowd at the comedian’s shows.
But the couple wasn’t there to make jokes. At least, not solely to make jokes, because Harith can’t stop making people laugh wherever he goes. Well, they do say laughter is the best medicine.
Or… is it?
Considering the husband-and-wife duo’s newly launched brand, perhaps there are things even the most rambunctious laughs can’t fix.
Co-founded by Harith and Dr Jezamine, Aemis is a wellness brand focusing on work-health balance, targeted at busy, stressed-out urbanites.
During a sharing session on September 23, the couple recounted their journey and purpose for launching Aemis and the supplements.
But first, here’s what you need to know about Harith “World’s Funniest Person” Iskander and Dr Jezamine Lim Iskander, a medical doctor and PhD-holder in stem cells and tissue engineering.
Partners in business and life
Harith and Dr Jezamine are nothing short of a power duo.
The funnyman is one of our nation’s best-known stand-up comedians, and this is in part thanks to Dr Jezamine.
On top of juggling her own biotech company and motherhood, Dr Jezamine has also actively helped Harith achieve many accolades as the co-founder and group managing director of Harith Iskander V Day Productions.
According to Dr Jezamine’s LinkedIn page, under her management, Harith was able to gain international recognition when he won Laugh Factory’s Funniest Person in the World competition in 2016. Later, the two also co-founded The Joke Factory in 2018.
Aemis is not only another iteration but also an evolvement of the couple’s synergy and shared entrepreneurial spirit.
Their rapport shined on stage as well, where Dr Jezamine would tackle more scientific matters, while Harith “translated” the information into layman’s terms.
This dynamic extended to the formulation process, according to the two during the media session. Harith said he went into the process with a “kindergarten” level of understanding.
To Dr Jezamine, this is helpful, as Harith’s questions represent those that the market would ask about the brand and its products too.
“The good thing about us is I’m the science, and he’s the creative person, so I think we really complement each other in many ways,” she said to the crowd.
Born in the pandemic
The story of Aemis started mid-pandemic, which Dr Jezamine described as a “turning point”.
“If you know me in person, I’m a workaholic,” she confessed. This was confirmed by the emcee of the event, who’s also a friend of the couple, TV personality Daphne Iking.
Being a structured person who likes to organise her life right down to five-minute intervals, the pandemic taught Dr Jezamine how to “sit and do nothing”.
It was during this period when she learnt to unwind that she started searching for supplements for better sleep. This led to a discovery of various ingredients and research, which ultimately gave rise to Aemis.
Along with a panel of nutritionists, healthcare and medical experts, Dr Jezamine worked on the formulation of the products for around a year before the official launch.
The new norm of stress
During the event, the two co-founders as well as the emcee brought up the fact that stress has been ingrained in today’s society.
“It is understandable yet concerning that many people have now come to accept stress as a
necessary part of life, to the point of just living with it,” Harith pointed out. “As a person who reduces others’ stress as a profession, I always look for ways to take away the stress from people’s lives.”
While on stage, there was also a heartfelt moment where Harith shared his personal experiences with stress and work-health balance.
“I find that I have a lot of friends who are my age and younger … suddenly passing away and dying of heart attack or something [similar],” Harith opened up. “And they don’t smoke, they don’t drink, and you start to learn that a big factor of this is actually stress.”
“Now, you can say ‘okay, destress, just forget your troubles’—it’s not that easy.”
He went on to explain that there are many who cannot change their workloads, so rather, they should strengthen their bodies to better handle the effects of stress. This is something that Aemis intends to help people achieve.
Laugh, eat, sleep
As mentioned, Aemis currently has two products. Probiome is a health supplement capsule consisting of both probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics and prebiotics are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut.
“Many of us don’t know that the heart of your immune system is actually in your gut,” Dr Jezamine mentioned on stage.
The second product, Relazz, comes in liquid sachets made with Lactium, a brand name for milk protein hydrolysate from France. To be taken one hour before sleep, this ready-to-drink supplement aims to improve sleep quality.
Developed with Wellous, a Malaysian health brand distributing functional food products, Dr Jezamine shared that there are already a few other products in the pipeline for Aimes, which will continue to seek improvements for Malaysians’ work-health balance.
- Learn more about Aemis here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
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