Thailand's E-Commerce Enabler Company aCommerce Expands to Indonesia, Snatching Hadi Wenas From Zalora as Country CEO
Building a tech startup is not easy, if it was, everybody would be doing it. Oh wait. But no, it's not easy, really. How many tech-based or online companies have been built that lasts more than a handful of years? A lot of the times a founder or co-founder must have the experience, know the right people, and build the right companies before they can succeed. Ex Zalora Indonesia chief Hadi Wenas is counting that he has all that for his new company, aCommerce Indonesia.
Several weeks ago Wenas told DailySocial that he has a big news coming up in early October. It's November now but the news only managed to come out this month due to scheduling conflicts. In mid September, Wenas went on a trip overseas, something that he's been planning to do for quite some time. As it happens, it coincided with his final days at Zalora Indonesia as its Managing Director. By the end of the month, he was no longer leading the rapidly growing online fashion store, though he remains in an advisory role with a stake in the company.
Wenas spent two years building and running Zalora Indonesia turning it into one of the most prominent online stores in Indonesia. In the process, he discovered and dealt with issues and challenges that practically are faced by any company wishing to do online commerce, something that he saw as a major opportunity.
With the backing of Thailand-based Ardent Capital, Wenas set up aCommerce Indonesia, the local operations of the newly founded Southeast Asia-wide e-commerce enabler company. The aim of aCommerce is to allow major retail chains to make the jump online with the proper tools and support that any full fledged e-commerce company needs. The company will allow retailers to focus on their core business but at the same time expand their markets outside the reach of their traditional physical retail outlets.
While the Indonesian operations won't launch until December, Wenas told DailySocial that he has managed to secure three clients; a home shopping company, a mail order company, and a retail company, all as yet unnamed. To serve the company's clients, he has secured a 1500 square meter warehouse and that the rest of the company's executives and team members will officially join the company "in the coming weeks".
Wenas also mentioned about his partner who won't officially join the company until early next year. The partner has been in online commerce before as well as dealing with the digital industry but requested that his name remains in confidence.
We asked Wenas whether he's not concerned that there might be a conflict of interest in running aCommerce as well as maintaining a stake in Zalora. "I'm passionate about e-commerce and I want to see e-commerce grow in Indonesia, which is why I decided to take the opportunity to set up this company. At Zalora we helped accelerate the adoption of e-commerce in the country and it can only work if the rest of the industry have access to resources".
"We will be working in the background helping retail companies understand and operate e-commerce, so we won't actually be directly competing with Zalora. Our primary clients will be major retail companies, most of which have been reluctant to do e-commerce in the first place because they don't understand the field and have no expertise in the area," Wenas said.
"I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have the knowledge that demand for e-commerce outside of major cities is huge". Wenas explained that growth of that demand in big cities is around 70 percent, but outside, it's over 350 percent. "That's a major opportunity for retailers to tap into and they're missing out on a lot by not entering this market, so we're here to help".
In running aCommerce Indonesia, Wenas will be facing off former Rocket Internet colleagues Bede Moore, Susie Sugden, and Mario Suntanu of Vela Asia but also working with a number of other former Rocket Internet executives as well as the people who built Ensogo and Admax.