E-COMMERCE: THE MICRO-ENTREPRENEUR’S STORY

Published 21 May, 2019

(L to R) Renuka Sena, CEO Proficeo, Edwin Wang, founder, Signature Market, Ezmir Razali, founder, iCookAsia, Dickson Chew of Supply Bunny, Joachim Sebastian MD, Everpeaks Consulting, Nawarah (Wara) Abdullah, founder, TruWara Trading.

“MY HANDPHONE is in my hand twenty-four hours a day,” announced Nawarah (Wara) Abdullah, founder of TruWara Trading, and the new incarnation of the Malaysian micro-entrepreneur. She was acknowledging the importance of keeping social media constantly updated of her spicy sambal condiment business, in the hope that some her followers would be prompted to order another batch online.


“Makan dulu dengan mata (eat with their eyes first),” she reminded the crowd during a recent roundtable titled “Is E-commerce a Viable Channel for F&B Businesses?” organised by entrepreneur coaching company Proficeo Sdn Bhd, whose CEO, Renuka Sena moderated the panel.


The term micro-enterprise is officially defined as a company with fewer than five employees or annual sales turnover less than US$71,700 (RM300,000), and five years ago Wara certainly fit the bill. She could only rely on the occasional help of a friend to pack her wares, and would personally make monthly restocking trips to about 30 shops who had agreed to sell her sambal on consignment. Each shop would only carry a few jars at any one time. Unsurprisingly this inefficiency was eating into her profits.


Then she was invited to take part in MDEC’s eUsahawan Level Up programme, where she was assigned a coach to personally help her make the journey online. “Most of the time companies takut-takut nak buat (are afraid of doing it),” said Joachim Sebastian (pic), Everpeaks Counsulting managing director, and the coach assigned to help Nawa. So he took the initiative to sign her up for Lazada, and started the ball rolling.


Instead of starting by initially giving Wara the required IT training, Joachim decided to throw her into the deep end so she could see for herself how much potential there was in marketing online. Soon after signing up, Wara’s sambal was given a special promotion slot, which generated a lot of attention. In forty minutes she had received a hundred orders.


Wara’s message box was filled up. “I had arrived where I had hoped to get to (in my business),” she said, while fighting back tears of that memory.


Source From DNA