Leaders in Tech and Ecommerce

Phil Opamuratawongse Co-Founder of Shipper

October 27, 2020 Alcott Global Season 1 Episode 44
Leaders in Tech and Ecommerce
Phil Opamuratawongse Co-Founder of Shipper
Show Notes Transcript

Phil is the Co-Founder of Shipper, a tech-enabled logistics startup on a mission to simplify fulfillment and shipping in Indonesia.

Shipper is structuring the unstructured by partnering with all warehouse and delivery service providers. By leveraging technology, data, and its logistics partners, Shipper aims to provide a reliable, transparent, and affordable fulfillment and shipping experience for everyone.

Phil holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a master's degree from Columbia University, where he studied supply chain. He previously was a management consultant at Mckinsey and an investor at Floodgate.  He is featured in Forbes Asia's 30 under 30 in 2020.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • [02:49] How Shipper started and its goals as a logistics aggregator
  • [13:04] The future of e-commerce in Indonesia – verticalize e-commerce business models
  • [21:15] Cash in delivery vs online payment
  • [24:07] Innovations to prepare for a possible crisis in the future
  • [26:56] Shipper’s entrepreneurial culture – zero to one tests and bottom-up decision making
  • [32:50] The importance of hiring younger talents

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Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the leaders in tech and e-commerce podcast. I am your host, Andrew Palomar , and I am the APEC director for Elbit global executive search. Our mission is to connect the tech in supply chain and e-commerce ecosystem in Asia and globally by bringing forward some of the most interesting stories about success and failure from leaders in the industry. It's a pleasure to have with us today. Feel upon what I feel is the co-founder of shipper, the techie name , but the logistics startup on a mission to simplify fulfillment and shipping in Indonesia, she put his structuring, the unstructured by partnering with all warehouse and delivery service providers by leveraging technology data and its logistics partners. She put aims to provide a reliable, transparent and affordable fulfillment and shipping experience. When everyone holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford university, a master's degree from Columbia university, where he studied supply chain, he previously was a management consultant and McKenzie and investor at floodgate it's features in Forbes, 30, under 30 in 2020. I feel it's a pleasure to have you on the podcast today.

Speaker 2:

Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah , it's my pleasure. And let's just set the scene a bit and talk about your background just on a few sentences. I know we can spend quite a bit of time, but I understand that you started your career at McKenzie and then moved to floodgate, which is a prominent VC in Silicon Valley. And then somehow the destiny brought you to Indonesia. I would be very curious to find out more about this journey if you can share.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I started my career at McKinsey in Thailand, in Southeast Asia. So this region Southeast Asia is not completely foreign to me, spent a few years here. And by way of background, I also am half Thai, half Tony's . I grew up in Thailand and spend most of my childhood in Thailand. After McKinsey , I moved to the U S where I did most of my education and schooling to join a venture capital fund called flood gate . And like , it is a venture it's an early stage venture capital fund investing in a seed and series a companies, some companies that had invested in Twitter, Twitch, Lyft, Octa, and a few others after few years at floodgate, I had the opportunity to , uh , at that time learn a lot about startups, learn a lot about the early stages of a , of a company. I felt inspired to, to come back to Southeast Asia and start on that journey of my own. So, so that's kind of the move back to Southeast Asia, where I met my partner and had the chance to work with him on shipper.

Speaker 1:

How did the shipper the idea come about? I imagine it was a few milestones before you brought in the final or the current product.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I'll , I'll give the first year to two of shipper, complete credit to my partner and co-founder booty . He was at the actual original person who had started the company on day one. I only stepped in about one to two years in after to join him. But the idea generated started from his background as an online seller. He was an online seller selling through multiple marketplace platforms and as a result using multiple delivery companies to deliver goods from his home. And , and this experience still holds true today. Basically online sellers will use multiple delivery companies as a result of the fragmentation on the marketplace side, even within the marketplace, there still some level of fragmentation within , within the delivery side of things within each marketplace platform. Basically the experience he had gone through was he would have to wait until the end of the day, collect all his orders and then begin going to each, you can call them agents, post stations or hubs, but basically they're , they're the , basically the collection point for these, these packages for each delivery company. So he would go wait in line, drop off the packages that go onto the next one, rinse and repeat, do that a couple of times. And you know, that, that took up a huge chunk of his time. So he wanted to solve that problem by creating this logistics aggregator, where you only need to deal with one company. And that was shipper and shipper would come collect everything and manage everything from there for you, so that you would never have to go through that pain, painful experience.

Speaker 3:

And I wanted to ask how is shipper different? Because I actually know a few players who are trying to do the same different places of the world have different challenges. We'll talk about that later in both Indonesian, but how is she different from your perspective? What are the main things that add a lot of value to the final client?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think number one is while that is still a core product of ours, helping social sellers to manage their multiple delivery couriers, we've also started to repackage that product for other segments as well. So we turned that into a multi-carrier API where corporate companies, that corporate e-commerce companies that want to integrate into multiple delivery companies, they could come to and use us. We've also repackaged that as a fulfillment service. So we've added on fulfillment and warehousing service on top of that multi courier aggregator where online sellers and e-commerce companies can use us end to end from the fulfillment and on. So we've been able to be creative and repackage it in a few ways to continue to expand our target segments. That's one number two is we've definitely spent a lot of engineering resources and product resources to continue to improve that experience. I would say that's a very localized experience for Indonesia. It's very difficult to do a rinse and repeat and try to use what's out there in the world to do this, this product. So I think that's , that's the other piece that's, that's worth noting. Uh , I think the last piece is we've coupled this with a physical agent network and, you know, I think one thing that we believe in is pure software localized and focused in Indonesia is promising, but I think it might be one step too early, but when you're a coupling software with a network of physical network, you know , you not only increase defensibility, but you also are able to provide your customers more, a better experience and more value add.

Speaker 3:

And let's talk a bit about Indonesia, as you mentioned, your focus or a part of the focus is to offer a localized experience. I was wondering what are some of the main challenges that the market in Indonesia has, and it can be both logistics. E-commerce a combination of factors. What would you say that first comes to mind when you think about challenges in the market? So

Speaker 2:

I think, you know, there's, there's two levels to that question. Question number one is , uh, you know, what , what is unique to Indonesia compared to the rest of the world? And then the question number two is what's unique to logistics in Indonesia compared to the rest of the world. So I think number one is what's unique to Indonesia is a few things I can keep going, but I'll kind of just dumb it down to a few things that popped to my mind first is the, the country is extremely fragmented. Uh , yes, it is one Indonesia, but at the end of the day, it feels like there are many tribes or many smaller countries within this large country. So from accessibility to , uh, the local rules that regulation doing certain businesses to kind of overall go to market strategy, each of these mini markets, small markets, it's something you cannot just do once in Jakarta and copy and paste across all of Indonesia. So , you know, you really have to take a hyper-local and local approach to each segment. I think the other problem or challenge that we faced and we continue to face is the amount of buffer between what you can invest in customer experience and what you charge the customers. I think that buffer is , is not very large. So you really need to understand what your customers want and invest just enough, plus a very small amount of buffer to continue to improve the experience. I think over-investing too early, might create a lot of problems because you know, customers sensitive, sensitivity to price is relatively high. Those are the couple of problems that I can think of. I mean, you know , if I, if I quickly talk about people just within our organization compared to the rest of the world, I think people, the way people collaborate structure problems and solve problems in Indonesia is very different from , uh , I guess, compared to where I had spent some of my, my time in the U S I guess it is quite different from us, I guess talent would, would, would do. So. I mean, I would say Indonesia is extremely entrepreneurial and have an unmatched ability to take things from zero to one. But when you're thinking of taking products and services and creating a billion dollar value or outcomes, it might not be the same. So, so there are some unique differences and challenges there on the logistics side. I think there are a few bottlenecks or choke points that we've seen. I think number one is the overall network design of the supply chain is there are a lot of redundancies and a lot of choke points that create unnecessary congestion. And I think it's a result of pure fragmentation, not only on the number of logistics companies around doing their own thing, but also just the fragmentation of the geography, the way the country looks. I think second one is obviously, you know, I'm going to go back to what we do. I think fulfillment capabilities, especially in the B2B B2C segment is something that is continuing to develop. And it's something that we're really focused on building capabilities around that hopefully over the next few years, we'll see ourselves as one of the strong theaters , we're able to bring this capability to the nation. I think one other choke point on the ground logistics is because there's so many different islands as e-commerce continues to pick up and the demand or the customer expectation for extremely fast delivery begins to pick up. I think there is a re a choke point around the air capabilities. So basically air, air freight to get things from one city to the other within the same day. I think that's , that's going to be a choke point. Uh , so hence going back to the point, my previous point, which is why you need multiple fulfillment centers and you need create this large network of home centers so that you can , uh , tackle same day delivery in another way.

Speaker 3:

Mm let's talk a bit more about this part with fragmentation and consolidation. When we talk with regional players in Southeast Asia, all of them say, if you don't have an Indonesian strategy or Indonesia focused strategy, you're pretty much missing , um , one of the biggest chunks of the pie in the region. Do you see the e-commerce market as being crowded or getting more crowded in Indonesia? Are there certain trends when it comes to local players, regional players coming in and do you expect some consolidation happening?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think, you know, we see consolidation and then fragmentation happening waves. I'd say no four . I mean, so I , I won't give any predict predictions on how fast consolidation happens, how fast fragmentation happens again. But what I do know is Indonesia has the benefit of watching other mature markets go through different phases of building and learning, and also the ability to learn from those experiences from other those other markets. So that Indonesia as a country can accelerate forward in that journey. So for example, you know , we're able to watch China go from B to C e-commerce over CTC e-commerce to B, to C e-commerce, to social eCommerce , to protocolize e-commerce. And we're able to see the different models that emerge and what might work and what might not work. We see this in India, also in the U S in some cases they're , they're kind of, we kind of see the whole entire trend and we have the playbook in front of us. So what I do notice is we are seeing consolidation in kind of the e-commerce 1.0, and you know , that is still happening, kind of your , uh , I would say xAPI took a PDs of the world that we do see some kind of consolidation happening, but I would say know it's not happening as quickly as we would expect . And the reason it's fair, because it's a competitive market, it's not easy to win the market a hundred and say, I'm a winner until e-commerce penetration has reached a certain maturity. I think e-commerce penetration is still too low for any e-commerce 1.0 to say, Hey, were going to be the dominant number one player going forward. So I think it's a function of just the macro economics as well, but, you know, while we're going through that consolidation, I think we're starting to skip an accelerate to social commerce business models, where we're skipping and accelerating to verticalize e-commerce business models, and we're skipping, accelerating to B2B e-commerce models. Um, so, you know, rather than , uh, maybe a more of a more, a more mature market would see that journey happened across a couple of decades. You know, I think Indonesia has the opportunity to see that accelerate across the next five to 10 years , uh, very quickly. So, because we see this consolidation happening, but also, you know, new incumbents coming in, in different e-commerce sectors, you know, this kind of fragmentation and then consolidation keeps going up and down. Yeah,

Speaker 3:

Yeah . It's a, it's a fluctuation, like you said, and nobody knows what the future brings, but for sure, the present is an interesting one and maybe e-commerce is the sector that has been growing a lot because pretty much everybody is tied to their home and they need to order things online. Now, when you're thinking about the current situation with , with the crisis we are going through, have you seen different trends or different patterns in consumer behavior? I'm , I'm sure there are. Um, and have you managed to capitalize on them or what are those patterns that you see because of what's happening with COVID now in Indonesia?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I definitely see the overall macro online penetration or e-commerce penetration. I guess the penetration rate is growing. I wouldn't say our business is at a scale where we are representative of , of the market, but, you know, some trends that we have seen from within shipper, I guess number one is you've seen a lot of companies that were focusing on B2B aggressively pushing towards more B2C capabilities. I guess, you know , a function of this is COVID related, but I do think this is a trend that was also bound to happen. You know, brands going direct to consumer direct to retail is something that's happening across the world. And it's bound to happen in emerging markets like Indonesia as well, but due to COVID that might've accelerated that , uh , that curve, the second one is online growth and penetration online penetration rate household, or

Speaker 4:

E-commerce penetration rate for household essentials, for example, groceries, child products, general household supplies. I mean, there's a period in the last three quarters when we saw growth of a growth of two to four times in some customers month over month. I mean, some fresh produce e-commerce businesses did like a four X growth between February and March , um, or, and, or March and April. On the other side, we did see a dip in the nonessentials over the last nine months as well, you know, so, so we did see that kind of major swing, although I'll say in the last few months we've seen a stabilization or normalization of that, that growth. So it's going kind of going back to normal growth pace. And then I guess, you know, on the operational side to support this, this e-commerce growth, I would say, and not only just the e-commerce growth, but also, you know , to support, to protect ourselves against a future crisis or future COVID, you know , companies or operational companies like ours are building more and more SLPs around COVID, including inventory buffer, making sure we have a background backup ground shifts, backup facilities, et cetera. So these are things that, you know , we might have not have emphasized before, but now we are,

Speaker 3:

And you spoke about brands going direct to consumer, trying to do that as best as they can. And in this, in these strategies, facilitators like yourselves, come in and offer lots of help for the fulfillment part. And for everything I assume, is there an example we don't have to name names necessarily, but I was wondering if there is a story you can share of a brand that you are working with and they are doing a great job, or there are some interesting lessons there because they tried and they're doing this direct to consumer strategy.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I'll start with kind of just, you know, how shipper has been able to foster that experience. Uh , I've seen brands that startup for the first time and are able to work with shipper to grow their demand to 1000, 2,003,000 orders within their first month. I would say, you know, yes, you could potentially do that with your shop . He took a piece of the world. I mean, it is competitive because you are comparing your , you are competing against the entire platform of Topia and xAPI for those eyeballs, but if you're a direct to consumer brand or a brand that you're, and you're able to find a niche market able to push marketing, you know, I think shipper has , I believe we can. We , we have been able to prove that we're able to get a logistics up and running, but also get a cheap logistics up and running. You know, I think if you're getting, you're getting a logistics network up and running without a shipper like platform on day one, that could be extremely expensive and extremely slow, probably take, you know , three to six months to properly set it up. But, you know, with shipper, we were able to help customers do that within, within a one month period. I mean, in some cases within one week period, and they were able to get up and running very quickly. So I, with, with more companies like shipper that are enabling this, I mean, shipper's just one part of the Valley creation stack. I think there are marketing companies, there are website builders, there's a whole market around this, but there are a lot of these enablers who are able to help brands that get direct to consumer and grow their business really quickly. It's just a matter of how much resource they have. And if, if their segment is a segment where building that brand and building that customer touch point is important

Speaker 3:

And you were mentioning one part of your strategy is to have that vast network of agents and partners on the ground that also keeps your own business model asset light, but in the same time offers you a full coverage of the country and best results on the operation side. Can you tell me a bit more about the strategy, both in focusing on that network of partners?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. We have this agent network because we realize we're not able to have a touch point with every single block and every, every single customer across Indonesia. And, you know, we realize our headquarter team is only able to reach so many customers. So what we spend a lot of time on is training agents trading them on customer service on sales, of course, on the core operations so that they can help become our representative on the ground , uh, with customers that we can't, we can't touch. So , so , you know , that was, that was kind of our day one product and day one strategy. And we're still very much focused on that. We do believe, you know , the fragmentation of Indonesia forces a company to have to think outside the box in terms of how they touch customers at scale. And we believe this is one way to do it, and we've been able to have pretty good success doing it so far.

Speaker 3:

I think that's excellent. I mean, when it comes to focus areas, you pretty much nailed them down and you need that strong partnerships with your agents. And I assume with the other enablers as well, now I wanted to ask because there are key problems and I think you already touched on opponent on a number of them. There are key problems that sellers and marketplaces are facing and endangered , and probably they're connected to fragmentation. I don't know how many people are used to paying online with credit cards or debit cards. I don't know if that's still an issue, if you would rank maybe the biggest problems for sellers and marketplaces one, two, three, four, what would those be? I think number one, is there still

Speaker 4:

A huge potential for online sellers or sellers in general to move online and leverage the online economy? I think we're still at a stage where someone who is just willing to put in the effort and understand and learn how to sell online will see upside very quickly. You know , there's still a very big arbitrage between purely putting the effort, I guess what I'm trying to say there, there's still an arbitrage between folks who just put in the effort to learn how to sell online versus folks who don't put in the effort to sell online. No , from a demand side, there's a lot of demand because these big e-commerce platforms are spending a lot of resources too , to get as many people to buy online. But from a seller side, I would say there's still an opportunity for online sellers to take advantage of that. So I guess the challenge there is just, how do we quickly educate these sellers to learn how to sell online and do that effectively? And then yes, you did mention a question , uh , an issue around kind of how people pay for these products. So I would say, especially in, in tier two tier three markets where there is a huge unbanked population and commerce, hasn't done a great job of penetrating into those markets. Then the reason why is because SEOed first for that market cash and delivery, still the most efficient way to get there. However, you know, cash and delivery is just not a very efficient way. And it creates a lot of unnecessary logistics complexities, especially in this generation. So, so I guess, you know , rather than trying to figure out how to make Cod work, maybe there are ways for us to move the unbank online as quickly as we can so that we can begin getting them to do commerce online and have the experience of e-commerce.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . So I mean this type of issue, I think it's all across Southeast Asia, I think, especially in the New Zealand, but you can see it in all emerging economies here. And that's why we see a lot of innovation in the FinTech departments. I think you see that in Indonesia as well.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. We work with a lot of them as our partners. We, there are a lot of folks who are experts and solving that problem. And , uh , you know, we're grateful to be working with them to , to kind of solve the larger commerce space.

Speaker 3:

You did mention something interesting. And I wanted to ask at least one question about it. You are saying that there are different strategies that you are putting in place, both for yourselves. And I assume for the clients after connected to protect against a future crisis, right. And you mentioned a few things, maybe you can share more, what are those important things that you are putting in place now to make sure the next time when anything similar happens, things will run smoothly.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. So I think there are a few things that we're implementing to make sure our organization continues to be robust as you know, as anything kind of comes up in the future. I think number one is on the revenue side, of course, we're continuing to diversify our portfolio of customers because you never know what happens to which customer segments and the benefit of being a logistics service provider is it's an infrastructure level infrastructure level problem that every customer needs. So you do have the opportunity to touch multiple customer segments. So, you know, pushing and diversifying our customer base is , is something that we're very aggressive on doing on the operation side. So if I flip to the cost buckets, there, there are a few things. I mean, number one on people, we are bringing on new people who are kind of focused on building COVID strategy and we've done this, we've already done this by the way, this is not, this is not new for us anymore, but, you know , we brought in people to understand the impact of COVID and how our organization could , should continue to grow , uh, in, in , uh , in , uh , in uncertain times like this. So , you know, we have folks on the team were just completely focused on this problem. And then on the operations side, you know, where we're standing up backup facilities, we're standing up backup teams and even our backup teams, we have multiple backup teams. And then, you know, we're, we're coming up with backup plans around if this customer supply chain it , or if a facility in this customer supply chain goes down, what is the 30 day plan for , uh , switching that customer supply chain into the backup facility so that that customer supply chain can continue operating. So we , we , we have a lot of these things going on. And then of course, if I go down to the more granular details , um, on the ground , uh , there are a lot of things that we're doing to make sure we're continuing to , uh , protect our team and our ground workers against the next potential virus.

Speaker 3:

It sounds like we can't afford another unprepared situation where something like this hits and then we have to fix scramble for a solution. And I appreciate, and the ideas that you put forward and you're already, aren't doing them now. I feel I wanted to ask about the future milestone and what excites you when you look ahead and I'm sure you have exciting plans for cheaper . So the question is, what should we expect from shipper in the near and long-term future

Speaker 4:

In the near term future, we're still very focused on the promise statement of how can we help Indonesia accelerate e-commerce penetration. Uh , I believe there are a lot of reports out there that say, you know, Indonesia expects e-commerce to more than double in the next five years. And, you know, we want to make sure we're playing a part in enabling that as a logistics provider. So that's definitely your number one, whether that means we open up more fulfillment centers, find more delivery vendors or open up more post stations, you know, as, as the market grows, we'll, we'll, we'll learn and understand better, you know, how much effort do we spend on each of those three components we will we'll, we'll play our part and continue and continue to be there in the longer term future, you know, goes back to, to that problem statement. Again, we want to make sure that we are a meaningful contributor to the e-commerce supply chain. Uh, and what that means is one day we might need to go up the value chain or deeper, closer to the customers. What about whatever it means, you know , we'll continue to do our best to play a meaningful part of the e-commerce supply chain.

Speaker 3:

And now Phil , I wanted to ask you about leadership and teams and hiring, and she puts the change, the change a bit, the focus of the questions, and as the CEO is, and the co-founder, I'm sure that culture is a big part of what you're thinking of and building, how would you describe shipper's culture?

Speaker 4:

I think we've done a really good job of creating an entrepreneurial culture, a culture that really accepts a lot of zero to one test and , and, and accepts, Hey, we're going to push on certain things and we're going to stop certain things based on what the test results come out. And so I think we have a very open-minded team. That's very entrepreneurial as it's definitely number one. And I think that's extremely important for a company at our stage. You know, we're not at a stage where we can kind of rest on our laurels and not, not do those tests anymore. Second is I think we have a team that's extremely , uh , proactive and , and driven. And , um , when I say driven, I mean, mission driven, but also, you know, personally, you know, career objective oriented, objective driven, you know, I would say we've been able to do a lot with, with very little resource and that's something I'm super excited and super happy about. Uh, you know, I think what that means for me is when I reflect it means we've brought in the right people who are passionate about solving problems that we want to solve. And then third is I think we've been able to create a culture where decision-making is push from bottom up and not top down and say, you know, most of our best ideas while I wish I could take, take , uh, take credit for, unfortunately I can't, you know, I'm not the smartest thing , probably nine times out of 10. So , you know, our best ideas, whether it's operational ideas, new business opportunity, ideas, product, and engineering ideas, most of our ideas more than I'd say like nine, 9.9, nine, 9% of it comes from, comes from the team on, in a bottom up approach.

Speaker 3:

Go ahead. And now the next question, which ties up into, I assume it ties up with the culture is when you're hiring and you have to be involved in assuming everything connected to them , direct reporting team and to the executive teams that you have middle management as well. What are the things that you are most attentive to, or what are you paying attention when it comes to hiring? What are the attributes you're looking for?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I would say just, you know, I think we sometimes take for granted just the basics, a great working atmosphere. I think the basics for us is people who are, are passionate about the mission statement that we're solving people who are great problem solvers, you know, first principle thinking able to peel the onion and able to solve problems. One layer at a time, people who think big people who don't just want to hit for space, but really want to hit home runs. You know , I think we tried to limit the , the amount of trial and errors we do on just first base opportunities, a first base opportunity to just mean no small opportunity for small niche. Uh, we try to do as many trial and errors or , or test or zero to one test with Homebase or sorry, a home run opportunities. So I think just people who have those characteristics at a baseline, look, it I'll tell you, like, if we find anyone who hits those characteristics, we don't care what that person specializes on. We'll take them. And , and there's nine , you know , nine times out of 10, or I'll say 10 times out of 10, there's a place within the organization for that individual to create a lot of value. And then, you know, if we talk about more specialized skillsets , I would say what's been challenging and what we continue to look for and what we really do, like are people who have the ability or people who do already understand kind of the end to end supply chain and have the end to end supply chain knowledge. I think that's probably one sets that's really lacking that that is really lacking in emerging markets, which is , you know, people who really do understand how different parts of the supply chain impact each other. How do you design a network end to end from the first warehouse to the multiple hubs, to the end customers? How do you manage inventory across that entire network and make sure you don't have, you don't have too long of an inventory holding day. Sorry . I think no people with broad skill sets across the supply chain or with exposure across the entire supply chain is trending, but definitely something that we also really do appreciate. And then of course, you know, all the product and engineering talent, I think folks who have any exposure to supply chain space is always appreciated, but of course it's not required, but I would say it's also a rarity. Uh , we don't find a lot of folks in the product engineering space who have deep skill sets or deep experience within supply chain space. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Yeah . And I assume that you also have a role as is cheaper role in creating that ecosystem where people come in, maybe they don't necessarily have the hard skills, but they're learning together and they are achieving together and contributing.

Speaker 4:

That's very true. Yeah , exactly. So like I said, we accept anyone who hits the baseline requirements of, you know, the right attitude, the right problem solving skills and the heart, heart, and the passion to, to do, to solve the problem that we're solving. And we definitely do believe in up leveling our existing team. Uh, I mean, you know, if you asked me I'd a hundred percent preferred to Uplevel existing team member and get that person up and running rather than bring somebody else completely new, who might be more experienced in, because I genuinely believe in, you know, folks, folks who have a lot of folks who , who , who start at a lower level and have a lot of , um , upside opportunity , um , or upside potential, those guys will be hungry to capture all that upside potential and can probably move faster than somebody who's already started at the top. And, you know, we generally believe that.

Speaker 3:

Mm , well, that's, I totally agree with you. It might not be the best news for somebody like us who are doing executive search. And I agree. I mean , uh , if I'm , if I look back and how we are doing recruitment for our company and how the most successful careers have developed have two of them,

Speaker 4:

I think, I think all that means is, you know, people, companies like Alcott that does executive recruitment go earlier, earlier in people's career. And, you know, companies that hire should, should, should not feel gun shy and should feel, should be willing to take the risk on somebody younger. Sometimes, sometimes I'm not saying all the time, I'm saying well , experienced people. They're definitely able to create a lot of value on day one. And that's something we do have a lot of , uh , as well in the organization. But I think there is , uh , sometimes, you know , you do need to understand the pros and cons and when there's not enough experienced people, sometimes you do have to be willing to take the risk and take a slightly less experienced person.

Speaker 3:

And I think this e-commerce combined startups paints it's even even better for this type of decisions when you still can test a lot of assumptions. And then yeah, if , if you're good enough things at the end will be successful. Now I wanted to ask you the last question for today. Phil , you've been , uh , through quite a few , um, entrepreneurial adventures, maybe consulting is this tangent to that. I'm sure with the VC you son , you've seen a lot of these entrepreneurial stories. And now with , uh , with shipper, if somebody would come to you and maybe they already do and ask you, what is the, what advice would you give to somebody who wants to start your own company or wants to, to open up a startup and run with it? It can be anywhere in Southeast Asia, it can be in Indonesia, but what are some advice that you would,

Speaker 4:

I think number one, I mean, I'm , I'm talking about the journey of shipper specifically. I'm not talking about entrepreneur , it's kind of the broad definition of entrepreneurs, but I'm talking about the definition of entrepreneurs who are the focus or the specific definition of wanting to create something, I guess, at scale and large, right. So I do think, you know , number one is think big. I think number one is always make sure, you know, the problem that you're solving is the right problem. And it is a large problem. And, you know, you, you can envision yourself focusing on this problem and becoming a multi-billion dollar business, just focusing on this problem. I think if the problem scope that you're solving, it could be small and day one with the expected expectation that it will kind of open up and scope over time. But if the problem statement that you're solving on day one is small without the plan of, you know , growing into a larger, larger problem statement, then it might not be worthwhile, I guess is number one, because number two, it is a long journey. It is a very long journey to get from that beginning stage to where you're creating a lot of value to the economy. So if you're, you know , always day in, day out solving a very small problem statement, then you know , you might be fatigued one day and I'm doing that. And then I guess, third, not, not just advice, but must have, is always have people who are better than you in the room, whether it's investors or your team or your, even your customers. I'll say, you know, some of our customers, especially on day one or 10 times, better than us at what we do, but they believe that we could get there fast. They trusted us and they actually taught us. And that definitely expedited the journey. So, you know , you just make sure you always have better people than yourself in the room. Great piece of advice. And I appreciate that

Speaker 1:

On that note. I want to thank you. And I'm sure we'll hear much more great news about cheaper in the months to come. I'm looking forward to doing that and yeah. Best of luck. And we'll be in touch with yeah. Thank you so much for having me really appreciate it. Thank you for listening to our podcast for all the show notes and information discussed in the episode, please follow Alika global.com/podcast. Also, if you found this interesting, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, or one of the podcast platforms we are looking forward to your feedback.