Guys, kitakongsi (owner of this blog) had asked me to write a blog repeatedly, and I had to do it to get him of my back. Brief introduction, I am a Ipoh guy, currently had a business in Ipoh supplying building materials to contractors.
Ecommerce? What is Ecommerce? This was the first thing which comes to my mind when kitakongsi told me that he was planning to venture into this business. It is surprising as kitakongsi had been doing very well in Kuala Lumpur, and I wondered why he returned to Ipoh. He resigned from his previous job, went and studied MBA, and after all the hassle, returned to Ipoh. This was always the joke, as we teased him to start selling MBA branded "Chee Cheong Fun". Of course he did not as he went to consult Ecommerce businesses. My journey started when he invited me to attend a seminar organized by 11 street (he offered to pay for all my expenses plus driving me to the train station in the middle of the night). The seminar is free. If you know him, you can guess if he really paid the expenses.
Out of curiosity, I did agree to accompany kitakongsi to the seminar. I really had a great experience and gained much knowledge of what Ecommerce was all about. From product listing, e-pay, e-store and also e-delivery, everything seems to link together and we could just be an online seller without much hassle and trouble. It seems simple, as we only needed to know how to set up an account in these marketplaces, select and purchase what we want to sell and we can start selling our products straight away. But of course there were terms and conditions from the marketplace which you need to fulfil. From this seminar, I had lots of idea, and was interested to explore further what I could sell and utilize from this marketplace.
After a few months and when things started to dry up, (kitakongsi claimed he was busy providing his services to others) suddenly kitakongsi came to me again and informed me that he wanted to help a friend of his to expand her online business. The first question come out of my mind as a businessman, WHAT? HELP A FRIEND, AND WHAT DO WE GET FOR HELPING SOMEONE??? Additionally, it was not just for this friend, he wanted to share it with other entrepreneurs in Ipoh which had the same interest as well. As usual, after some very convincing sales talk from him, I agreed to loan one of my property for him to fulfill his objective. In return, I wanted to be involved. At least I can start knowing more about Ecommerce, although i don't really believe much of what he claimed to Help or Share. Surely this is some reason behind, and lets see.
Of course, this eventually leads me to indirectly involve in my first Ecommerce business as well. I think I got the better end of the deal (or this is what he wanted me to think). I learned about Ecommerce step by step for things like listing, sourcing, packaging and many more. Things are not as simple as I thought from the seminar. I had tried to procure some products to sell by my own when I visited Hong Kong Trade fair, and was advised not to proceed after comparing with competitors in the market and from other supplier. I really appreciated such advice as in times; you might get too passionate on starting something, and ignore the basics. Additionally I am still trying to understand on how to manage the operation, which he did with simple tools efficiently. I wondered when I can enjoy my first small success. But then, he continues to motivate and bully me, and I am currently discussing with my friends in Ipoh who produce and manufacture something, to possibly market and sell their product online.
I do not have any success now to shout about, but I do enjoy the new experience offered by him. No regrets as at the end, as I do hope that he achieved what he aimed, to make Ipoh the preferable city for Ecommerce, and make this city proud. Last question, is kitakongsi conning me? Please let me know.