Loretta Lee began her career in market research, working for an international advertising agency as research director. In 1972 she founded TransMarket Research Limited, in partnership with ASI of Los Angeles. TransMarket grew into one of South East Asia's largest market research organisations. It conducted consumer and industrial research throughout the area for a wide range of major international corporations including Philip Morris, General Motors, Toyota and IBM. TransMarket was one of the first research companies to conduct market studies in China after the country began to normalise its relations with the outside world.