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Benjamin Lau

Meet Benjamin Lau – Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ninepine and MSc in Business & Management alum.
Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.
I’m the co-founder and co-CEO of Ninepine, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand I started with another SSE alum, Kousha Torabi. We were actually in the same Master’s class! At Ninepine, we focus on creating apparel that embodies comfort, versatility, and neutral aesthetics.
As a business owner, my day-to-day tasks vary widely. I could be working on product development, managing the supply chain, creating content, strategising logistics, and more. For instance, I might spend the morning brainstorming new product ideas with our designer, the afternoon editing video ads, and the evening negotiating contracts or managing orders with our factories. My role requires a lot of task-switching between different core business areas, which keeps things exciting and dynamic.
What interested you about the field/company/role you are currently in?
My journey into entrepreneurship began right after high school when I started a photography production company with some friends. We focused on cultural events, music, and nightlife, and realised we could turn our passion into a business. Plus, we got to attend exclusive events and photograph our favourite musical acts!
However, it was my graduate job at Facebook (now Meta) that really propelled me into the e-commerce world. I was lucky enough to land a business grad role there, where we helped companies scale their customer acquisition through Facebook and Instagram marketing. Consulting with companies and learning how they operated, often directly from their CEOs, CMOs, and founders, laid the groundwork for starting my own e-commerce business.
Why did you choose to study your subject area at SSE?
I chose to study Business & Management at SSE because I wanted a broad understanding of business. My Bachelor's was focused on corporate finance and financial accounting, so the management program at SSE offered a more comprehensive view. It covered entrepreneurship, management consulting, and provided a toolbox of soft skills, problem-solving frameworks, and design principles. A huge bonus was the program’s emphasis on “live cases” with real companies, which was a refreshing change from the textbook learning at my previous university.
How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?
A lot of what I learned at SSE has stuck with me and is still relevant in my day-to-day work. My first entrepreneurship course at SSE was particularly eye-opening. It provided a clear blueprint of what starting a business entails, which was a real "aha" moment for me.
I also frequently use the decision tree method of problem-solving that we learned in a consulting course to break down complex problems. Recently, I applied this method in a whiteboarding session to improve our customer support function. Additionally, the concept of “design thinking” introduced to me at SSE has been invaluable. It laid the foundation for my approach to design and innovation, which I still use when creating new products.
Following the time at SSE, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?
Remember, it’s a privilege to be at SSE, and the school offers endless opportunities. Be proactive and take advantage of everything the school has to offer. Your time at SSE isn’t just about attending classes and getting a certificate; it’s about the bonds you form and the experiences you gain from extracurricular activities.
During my time at SSE, I was involved in 180 Degrees Consulting, the Education Committee, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship workshops, the Self Leadership Program, the Hult Prize (a social start-up competition), Venture Cup, and even hosted TEDx. These experiences were just as valuable as my coursework.
The friendships and connections you make at SSE should extend beyond the classroom. To this day, I’m still close to many people I met through these activities.
What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?
Opportunities, impactful, self-development.