The Breakfast Huddle 

with Elliott Danker, Manisha Tank, and Finance Presenter Ryan Huang 

Money FM 89.3

SCI eCommerce was launched in 2011 and has celebrated many milestones, including becoming the most leading ecommerce industry company with the strongest cross border ecommerce capability solution provider in Southeast Asia (Frost & Sullivan, 2019). 

In 2021, SCI eCommerce was ranked 2 on Singapore’s List of Fastest Growing Company, compiled by The Straits Times and global research firm Statista, with compound annual growth rate of over 323 percent. 

Shortly after the List was announced, SCI eCommerce had the honour of being invited to The Breakfast Huddle with Elliott Danker, Manisha Tank, and Finance Presenter Ryan Huang on Money FM 89.3

Below are the exciting conversations our CEO, Joseph Liu, had with The Breakfast Huddle:

The Breakfast Huddle

  • When you launched the company in 2011, what kind of gap in the market were you trying to fill?

CEO Joseph Liu

  • Most of the brands were just on the offline market, they were not on the online market. As I researched the ecommerce history in China and US, I realized the gap in Southeast Asia ecommerce market. 

The Breakfast Huddle

  • When you discovered there was a gap, what did you do?

CEO Joseph Liu

  • We’ve seen history in the US and China. We know this can grow, so we tried our best to talk to some brands, to give them a trial, to go online first. I think that’s in 2012, or 2013. At that time the brands were not too interested to go online. 

The Breakfast Huddle

  • How do you convince them to go online? 

CEO Joseph Liu

  • I remembered one case, I think it’s Unilever. In the beginning, I sent them an email and they replied saying they’re not interested in going online. I kept sending them an email per day, up to a month, until one day they agreed to have a meeting with me.

The Breakfast Huddle

  • What was in your email? What solutions were you offering them?

CEO Joseph Liu

  • The solutions we are providing them are end to end, from setting up the ecommerce store, to marketing, customer service, and fulfillment. So we help them sell on omni channels, including traditional ecommerce platforms, like Qoo10 Lazada Shopee Tokopedia, to new social ecommerce platforms, like Live Broadcasting. 

The Breakfast Huddle

  • You mentioned Live Broadcasting, which is a really popular marketing tool in China right now, but out of these modules that you offer, are there any which work well in some territories, and do not work elsewhere? What works in Southeast Asia?

CEO Joseph Liu

  • The ecommerce market in Southeast Asia is still a little bit behind the US and China, so although Live Broadcasting is already very popular in those two countries, in Southeast Asia the market is still dominated by traditional ecommerce platforms. But we can see the rapid growth of social ecommerce in Southeast Asia, including TikTok. We’re working on something in Indonesia, which we will launch very soon.    

The Breakfast Huddle

  • Sales by TikTok, that sounds very interesting! Let’s do a case study, if you don’t mind. You recently helped Tiger Balm, a local brand, tapped into online presence in China. Could you tell us what you did for Tiger Balm, and what’s the feedback so far? 

CEO Joseph Liu

  • Tiger Balm is a brand that I personally love very much! We help them tap into China cross border ecommerce market, including JD Worldwide, Tmall Global, and more. Beyond this, we also help them do social marketing, to promote their brand awareness in China cross border ecommerce market. The growth was rapid, that we increased our target, to double the original numbers that we set at the end of last year. And we hope to make this Singapore’s well known brand, to be also very well known in China.     

The Breakfast Huddle

  • Wow! Do you have any numbers on how well Tiger Balm is doing over there in terms of the growth of sales?

CEO Joseph Liu

  • That’s a little bit sensitive, but the number ranges will be tens of millions.

The Breakfast Huddle

  • SCI eCommerce has been named one of the fastest growing companies in 2021. For you personally, what do you think is the secret of the growth of this company? 

CEO Joseph Liu 

  • The First one is the clear and accurate strategy, while it is impossible to have a 100% accurate strategy due to the ever-changing landscape of the industry, we just have to be close to 100%.
  • The Second one is the organizational system, you will need to create the system based on long term foresight that is beneficial to both ourselves and our client.
  • The Third one is the culture of the company, the culture of the company is very important. 

The Breakfast Huddle

  • Could you please explain the culture of your company to us in a few sentences?

CEO Joseph Liu 

  • We have 6 Core Values that help to form our company’s culture, but l will be sharing a few of them.
  • One of the core values is “Customer First” always put our customer first based on the values they share, and drive our result beyond their expectations. 
  • Other core values are such as “Team Spirit” and “Ownership Mentality”. We always encourage our team and employees to work together in order to go far and working with an entrepreneurial spirit viewing their job as their own business.
  • We also adopt Employee’s share options plan so they will have a sense of ownership.
  • These are the most important points & drives to achieve the growth of the company.

The Breakfast Huddle

  • So, SCI eCommerce has managed to win a number of significant awards, what does it feel like, for you and your team, to be recognized with awards?

CEO Joseph Liu 

  • Yes we received several significant awards. Besides the recent Strait Times one, we are also recognized as the best Southeast Asia Ecommerce Solution Provider in the last two years by Alibaba Group and Lazada. This is actually a very rare interview opportunity I got to do in the local market, in Singapore. We hope this is not the peak of our achievements, we feel that we still have a very long way and have lots of parts we can improve. 

The Breakfast Huddle

  • Could you tell us more about how you are supporting the government initiatives for Singapore’s Next 5 Years Research, Innovation, and Enterprise Plan and all the initiatives in building a digital economy?  

CEO Joseph Liu 

  • I was born in China, and came to Singapore when I was seventeen years old, and now I am a new citizen as a Singaporean. I love Singapore, and most of my targets involve helping to build Singapore’s economy, to help the brands from Singapore to not only succeed in local ecommerce, but also abroad, in cross border ecommerce on China’s  market. And I hope to have more than half of the brands in the market to be on ecommerce, which is done by SCI. So we want to be the number one in the market.    

The Breakfast Huddle

  • We’re going to see a big, tremendous roll out of 5G happening not just here in Singapore but all over the world. Has that impacted any of your future plans? Is that something you’re excited about? And what else are you keen on for the future?    

CEO Joseph Liu 

  • We’re definitely looking forward to 5G. We see people are going online a lot, also because of the COVID 19, people shop online a lot, and we see huge growth. Live Broadcasting will be a very new way of selling for the whole market, we see where the trends will be going, and we’re prepared for that. 

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