How Thras.io Became the Biggest E-commerce Aggregators with John Hefter, SVP & Founder at Thras.io

How Thras.io Became the Biggest E-commerce Aggregators with John Hefter, SVP & Founder at Thras.io Featured Image

As a founder of Thras.io, John has been fortunate to witness their original team of 4 grow into a 1000 person, billion-dollar powerhouse. At work and in life,  he is a polymath with unrelenting energy and curiosity. He enjoys regularly deploying his expertise in branding, creative, neuroscience marketing, business development, acquisitions, leadership, culture building, and product development across diverse sets of business domains. If there is a challenge met, John will face it openly with creativity, humor, and persistence.

Thras.io is at the vanguard of Amazon 3rd party brand acquisition & acceleration. As a founding team member and Senior Vice President, John curates grand design and product development for their entire brand portfolio. He is heavily involved in their overarching company strategy across a large variety of complex domains. He loves problem-solving, building happy and productive teams, disruptive creativity, business development, corporate strategy, and helping his teammates achieve success.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Host:

Rushit Shah: LinkedIn | E-mail

Connect with the Guest:

John Hefter: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Thras.io’s origin story
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic affected Thras.io’s evaluation process
  • Using human touch and technology together to analyze businesses
  • How Thras.io plans to reach the audience
  • Soft skills and hard skills and building teams

Show notes:

  • [00:55] How did the idea of Thras.io originate? And how did you become part of it?
  • [05:18] What key differentiators do you see between private equity businesses doing something similar but not working on the backend and the role of the company?
  • [06:42] The reality is that a lot of people in the P world know the PE world very well. But do they know how to operate on Amazon? And do they understand the very complex Nexus that sort of surrounds being a good Amazon operator?
  • [08:10] What we’re really doing is building out our capabilities to run a very sound DDC operation that can manage a bunch of brands that have a big retail program that can take on tons of skews and run them into traditional retail brick and mortar. And we’re going to sort of marry all those things together and then scale from there. 
  • [08:42] Why are these rolling businesses on the major rise? Why is that happening?
  • [12:48] How are SMEs reaching the highest potential by being with Thras.io? What is that you’re doing differently than the rest? 
  • [13:27] You better know how to read the tea leaves within the Amazon ecosystem to know how to optimize your pricing and discount strategies, your PPC strategies, your inventory strategies, and your brand presentation in comparison to everyone else in your space. All that has to be in harmony in order for you to have long-term success. 
  • [14:37] Does Thras.io have a checklist of companies you would actually go and help to grow or is it if they want to come and approach you you’ll basically get them in?
  • [15:32] How is the evaluation process for you, especially in COVID where let’s say the travel is not happening. How is that done right now?
  • [18:08] Can you share more seller success stories where the sellers had a major result seen in a very short period?
  • [19:33] People will bring you something that’s been successful, but it’s not a fully completed puzzle piece yet. And we are there to sort of complete the rest of the puzzle when things go well and that’s where we got a lot of success.
  • [20:26] Is there any kind of tech that helps you with your evaluating Business?
  • [23:10] If you can kind of give a picture right now, what do you think the e-commerce landscape looks like? And how it is going to be in 10 years?
  • [25:29] We’ll continue to march towards convenience, where other non-traditional marketplaces will probably take up a little bit more market share. I’m talking about shopping at TikTok, Instagram, and other places like that. I think we will continue to spread. 
  • [26:24] Do you feel there is a space where the products are being able to be delivered to other places like big demand markets like in Asia and Eastern Europe. Do you see that there is transportation infrastructure?  Or is that what’s going to take the next 10 years to get the operation and transportation right?
  • [29:17] Is sustainability something you’re addressing right now? Or do you think it’s too early to keep that on the agenda?
  • [30:07] Amazon has come up with its own sustainability practice forms, which companies can follow. Do you kind of tap into that as well or are you creating your own internal sustainability policies?
  • [31:14] What are the skills required in Thras.io to be successful?
  • [32:35] We didn’t want to build a place that had tyrants in the waiting, people who were obsessed with power or titles, or political influence- the type of people who would sort of like climb over someone else in order to the crab in the bucket scenario, we wanted the exact opposite of that.
  • [35:33] What are the soft skills you look for while hiring and what are the hard-to-find technical skills Thras.io is looking for?
  • [37:02] We look for people who are willing to join something that is ever-evolving and ever-changing, and in a constant state of positive chaos. 
  • [37:49] What do you wish that you knew when you started?
  • [39:28] Can you share more about Thras.io with our audience?
  • [41:04] I like to think of Thras.io as a very giving place. We share ideas with people, we tell people how we got to success, and hope that they can find their own version of success as well. 

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