The Avid Traveller
In 2018, Matt was spending a large amount of his time travelling around Asia. During his travels, he met many young people from countries like China, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Vietnam. Many of them created interesting products and had great business ideas. However, there was one thing most of them lacked. The opportunity.
Physical Problem: Infrastructure
Being from a hub like Singapore, Matt realized that the physical infrastructure has not caught up with the technological developments in many parts of Asia. People may have access to the internet, but the physical infrastructure may not allow deliveries to many locations. (E.g., Most people can access Amazon’s app and website, but they may not be able to purchase anything as the delivery service to their house is unavailable or too expensive).
Emotional Problem: Relationships
Matt also discovered a secondary problem with online commerce in Asia. In contrary to the western model of pursuing efficiency (sometimes at all costs), Asia’s marketplace has traditionally been built on inter-personal relationships. However, many companies in Asia have de-humanized commerce. Despite the inability to articulate the problem, many of the people Matt spoke to resonated with and felt regretful about the fact that relationships have been lost in the process of commerce.
Solution: Unique last-mile fulfilment
After doing much research and talking to people, Matt chanced upon a possible solution for the problems: the setting up of an ecosystem of an online marketplace and offline micro-warehouses throughout Asia. The micro-warehouses would function as both a drop-off/ pick-up point for last mile logistics and be the human “face” that provides the support and relationship behind the online platform.