OnPoint: a pioneer in e-commerce ecosystems

July 19, 2022 | 18:51
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OnPoint has closed a $50 million Series B funding led by SeaTown Private Capital Master Fund. This is so far the largest private investment in the Southeast Asian e-commerce enabler industry in the last five years. Tran Vu Quang, CEO and founder of OnPoint, shared with VIR’s Mai Dang the opportunities and challenges of this industry.
OnPoint: a pioneer in e-commerce ecosystems
Tran Vu Quang, CEO and founder of OnPoint

How did the idea to establish OnPoint come to you and why did you choose to launch a business in e-commerce enabling solutions?

Both my parents are doctors. Inspired and motivated by their dedication to curing diseases and saving people, I have always wanted to find solutions to solve difficulties for businesses.

This motto has been with me throughout my path since I started consulting businesses at McKinsey until we built OnPoint. At OnPoint, we create an ecosystem of solutions that helps businesses to take great opportunities in e-commerce to grow.

E-commerce is a greatly potential industry. However, there are still pain points that businesses are facing and struggling with, such as increasing brand awareness and boosting their performance figures.

OnPoint appeared to create a comprehensive connection among all parties involved: e-commerce platforms, brands, and customers in an effective way to benefit them all.

What are the key opportunities and challenges in e-commerce enabler industry and how does OnPoint address them?

E-commerce is among the fastest-growing industries today.

The first challenge is the fast-changing macro environment leading to a shorter innovation cycle. Therefore, the decision-making process in this period needs to be highly adaptive to fully capture opportunities as well as to avoid deadly mistakes.

At OnPoint, we have been trying to be resilient with any macro risks by planning ahead with all different business scenarios. We also build up a wide network of business partners to diversify choices and become less dependent on any certain factor.

The second challenge is that the model of e-commerce enabler is complex in terms of operation when it includes many brands and channels.

Being well aware of this, OnPoint has invested in technology early on, working with leading and experienced consultants to build a process with high standards, ensuring the system is capable of operating at scale.

OnPoint's system has not only proven effective in Vietnam but has also been successfully applied in the Philippines on a large scale.

What are the trends driving innovation in the e-commerce enabler industry today and how do you catch these?

The most notable trend is that businesses are applying technology and data analytics to have better customer insights to reach a higher level of the personalised online shopping experience, reducing the cost to acquire new customers and increase customer lifetime value.

At OnPoint, our system uses AI technology and machine learning to help brands attract customers and improve their retention in the digital space better than previous solutions.

Another trend is the application of SaaS to e-commerce operations. As the e-commerce space is getting more complex with many different selling channels, shoppers’ journeys are highly personalised and multiple parties collaborate in real-time to fulfil customers’ orders.

All parties need a network-coordinated SaaS platform that can integrate all parties and provide a one-stop solution. We provide SaaS solutions such as multi-channel e-commerce store management solution, OctoSells, and the online-to-offline integrated order management solution OctoPOS.

Besides this, social media are shifting towards having e-commerce features and attracting more brands, live-streamers, and social sellers to their platforms.

OnPoint has launched many big brands on the Tik Tok Shop and provides package solutions including store management, livestreaming, marketing, and order processing.

OnPoint has successfully raised $50 million. How do you manage the pressure that comes with this?

This milestone brings good news to the whole team, demonstrates investors’ confidence in OnPoint, and proves that our business model is on the right track. It also brings a healthy pressure to maintain our position in the e-commerce value chain.

I myself have been in love with healthy pressure and running regularly helps me have a strong will and great perseverance.

In a competitive industry like e-commerce, you should be an iron-willed person ready for a long-term journey.

One of the philosophies to apply to my own business mission statement is “Today’s best performance is tomorrow's baseline” (Alibaba). Therefore, I always keep in mind that I need to do everything better than yesterday.

What is OnPoint’s growth strategy?

We follow a people-first strategy by encouraging people empowerment and supporting our members to reach their full potential by developing a dynamic and creative working environment.

To maintain the leading position, OnPoint is continuously looking for and nurturing strongly capable people.

We have a high-calibre management team who previously held key positions at Lazada, Shopee, Tiki, Lotte, McKinsey, Vingroup, Friesland Campina, and many more. We also expand our talent pool both domestically and internationally.

We hunt for new talents by carrying our annual management trainee programme. This programme brings thousands of applications from top universities such as the Foreign Trade University, RMIT, International University, and others.

We also have an active training department providing the team with knowledge and constant updates about e-commerce and brands.

As “Retail is detail”, we highly appreciate meticulousness and perfection in every detail which ensures the highest service quality and optimises customers’ experiences.

By Mai Dang

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