Paul has a global background, being born in Thailand and raised in California. Although he got a BA in anthropology at the University of California Berkeley in 2000, he caught the internet bug early and got a sales job at Ask.com in the U.S. (his brother was working at Apple). They both decided to become entrepreneurs, so they quit their jobs and moved back to Thailand to look for opportunities, and decided to focused on online advertising.
They used credit card debt to fund the startup Newmedia Edge, started in 2006, which went on to be acquired for about $8 million. Even while running Newmedia Edge, they started a second firm, ad network business Admax in 2007, selling it to Indian firm Komli Media in 2012 for $36 million.
Paul started his third venture, Ensogo, in 2010 after seeing the Groupon phenomenon in the U.S. and selling it the U.S. social media firm LivingSocial in October 2012 (for an undisclosed sum). Earlier in 2012, he had already launched Advent Capital in Thailand, to seed e-commerce firms around Southeast Asia, which sparked his idea to start aCommerce.
5 years later aCommerce is now the leading e-commerce service provider in Southeast Asia bringing brands and retailers online to reach consumers in the world’s fastest-growing markets in SE Asia. And in the most recent funding round in November 2017 raised more than $65 million. Now boasting 1400 staff across 5 countries and 9 fulfillment centers.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Connect with the Guest:
Stay tuned as we cover:
- The story of aCommerce
- Key clients and projects
- What’s better? Being an investor or being a founder?
- Key point for a regional startup to raise funds
- Did starting in Thailand make the startup better?
- What is the exit strategy for aCommerce?
- How do you hire people to join aCommerce?
- How do you shape the company’s culture?
- Leadership principles
- [02:16] Tell us more about aCommerce and what is the story behind it?
- [05:35] What are some of the clients you are working with and give us some examples of projects you help them with?
- [12:15] You founded and exited several regional startups in group-buying, ad-network, digital marketing agency field. Now you are running a VC and a full-solution eCommerce startup so you’re working on both sides of the table. Which role is your favorite and why?
- [16:31] As a seasoned serial entrepreneur and a VC veteran, what was your fund-raising strategy for aCommerce? What is the key point for a regional startup to raise funds?
- [19:29] What are the key points each startup should master to successfully go regional in Southeast Asia?
- [20:59] You are an example of a Thai startup which went regional. Did it helped that you started there or would it have been easier to start somewhere else?
- [23:48] What is the exit strategy for aCommerce and what would be the result that makes you most happy? Will you grow it to sell again like your previous startups or build it to last?
- [28:09] What are the most important tech trends that you invest in? How do you make the distinction from hype to the real deal?
- [32:25] How do you hire people to join aCommerce? What are the top attributes you are looking for?
- [37:08] As the CEO, you are one of the key drivers of culture in aCommerce. What would be some of the key aspects of culture and how would you consciously shape it?
- [39:56] Are there certain leadership principles that you follow?
- [42:52] What would be the top advice you would share with somebody who wants to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship?
About the Host:
The host, Radu Palamariu is the co-author of “From Source to Sold – Stories of Leadership in Supply Chain”. He has been named one of the top 3 Global Supply Chain Influencers on LinkedIn and was featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, WEF, Bangkok Post, and MIT Supply Chain Talent magazine. Radu invites executives to share stories and perspectives around technology, logistics, e-commerce, supply chain, and manufacturing, and their views on how the future will look.
Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.
The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.
Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.
We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.
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