Week in Review: Online has to be core for Brick & Mortar retailers says Alibaba’s global MD
By Karamjit Singh October 14, 2016
- Maserati launches store on T-Mall, sells 100 cars in 18 seconds
- A bank offers support for startups, Be Lazee offers advice
IT’s no surprise that sports car Maserati has a website but what shocked me was that they even launched a site on Alibaba’s T-Mall with the launch livestreamed. Don’t ask me how one livestreams the launch of an e-commerce site. “Why would an uber premium brand want an e-commerce site there? Has someone lost their marbles?” I wondered.
But what stunned me was that within 18 seconds of the brand being on T-Mall, 100 Maserati cars were bought! By the end of that first day, 1.1 million had accessed the site. Good thing I didn’t join the automotive industry. What do I know.
Anyway, this snippet was shared by Guru Gowrappan, global managing director of Alibaba at the Retail Congress Asia Pacific 2016 held in Kuala Lumpur this week.
So why was DNA covering a retail conference? Because digital was squarely on the agenda of the 2-day event. And as Guru says, “brands and retailers who win online are those who treat online retail not merely as an extension of offline but rather as the core of their sales, marketing and branding. Online retail has become top priority and companies should have a comprehensive business strategy for it.”
You can read more about his thoughts here and also about why Carousell, which spoke at the same event, is looking at incorporating ad tech in order to help its sellers better advertise their goods.
At the same time the retail congress was going on, the Malaysian Business Angels (not angles) Network was having a panel session with the CEO of Hong Leong Bank (HLB), Dominic Fuda where the two parties have formed a partnership that Cradle Fund CEO, Nazrin Hassan describes as a “landmark move in the startups ecosystem.” Nazrin was a panelist as well.
The bank has introduced its HLB LaunchPad, a developmental programme wherein selected startups will receive mentorship from senior HLB executives, business and infrastructure support and training. It also includes exposure and access to HLB’s local and regional businesses.
Selected startups will receive no-strings-attached grants that can go up to RM25,000 (US$5,987).
Yet more support for startups in the ecosystem. What’s significant here is the exposure and access to HLB’s local and regional businesses. Startups know just how hard it is to get access to traditional businesses so any help here is most welcome and I feel this will be the most valuable part of the LaunchPad. Professional managers can really only offer limited relevant advice to startups.
Finally, do watch out for my interesting conversation with the founders of Be Lazee Group Sdn Bhd, Suthenesh Sugumaran and Adlin Yusman, the Malaysian based social commerce/request network startup that has pivoted from its B2C to a B2B play because its quest to raise further funding failed. Adlin, who has had to seek employment elsewhere to help pay his bills and lighten the load on Be Lazee describes the company as basically, “starting from zero” again offers some interesting advice to his fellow startups around the investment appetite of LPs. That article will be published late tonight for your weekend reading.
May your weekend be restful and wishing you as always, a productive week after.
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