Integrating D2C in Asia with Vaibhav Dabhade Founder & CEO of Anchanto

Anchanto is a Singapore headquartered global B2B company that enables enterprises to manage end-to-end eCommerce operations through its proprietary SaaS products and partnerships. Since Anchanto’s inception in 2011, businesses across 14+ countries have been using its cutting-edge technology to increase productivity & simplify their multi-channel/omnichannel eCommerce sales & logistics operations. Today, Anchanto has offices across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, South Korea, India, and Thailand and serves a massive customer base comprising of both local and global players such as Nestle, L’Oreal, DHL eCommerce, Luxasia, DKSH, HP, Fossil, SnT Logistics, Asendia Asia and many more.

Vaibhav Dabhade is the Founder & CEO at Anchanto. A technology veteran of over 16 years and an industry & thought leader in the eCommerce technology, Vaibhav uses his expertise to transform enterprise businesses across APAC through innovation and technology. Since its inception, Anchanto has grown significantly under his exemplary leadership. Vaibhav completed his executive education from the Harvard Business School & IIM Kolkata and holds a degree in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. He spends his spare time dreaming about being a painter and excels at graphic design and arts.

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Connect with the Guest:

Vaibhav Dabhade: Linkedin

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Growing up in a logistics atmosphere – three generations of businesses in the space
  • Anchanto’s journey and the importance of running themselves a 55,000 square feet warehouse to build and test the best software for the market
  • Differences between D2C Model in Asia and the Western region
  • Differences in consumer data between Asia and the Western region
  • Case studies of companies implementing D2C Model
  • Expanding and hiring during a crisis
  • CV tips & job searching advice

Show notes:

  • [01:00] Maybe let’s start with a short introduction of yourself and Anchanto as well. 
  • [02:46] How did Anchanto got conceptualized nine years back? And how was the journey for you guys so far?
  • [06:57] Where we are today as of 2017, we are a hundred percent software service company. We have two main platforms; one is for the e-commerce warehouse management system and the second is the selling server.
  • [07:26] How did you decide that you are going to be specializing in the e-commerce logistics space? Because e-commerce at that time was at a young stage, right, how did it came by?
  • [08:56] Could you share, based on some data that you have seen, what do you foresee happening soon in our industry? And some trends or categories movement that you guys have seen so far. 
  • [10:56] All of the non-essential product categories drop massively, there’s some that get dropped almost 99.7%. The household category, toys and essential will lead the recovery
  • [17:42] Could you share with our audience, what D2C really meant in Asia and the Western region?
  • [22:18] D2C model in the context of Asia means you as a brand, you open an official store on the marketplace, you own that store so you control the quality of contents, the customer experience, and the customer data. Multi-channel D2C model works best in Asia.
  • [22:54] The concern in being on the marketplace is that it might dilute the consumer data for several reasons. Could you share more on this topic as well?
  • [23:09] Marketplaces own consumer data. So that’s the foundation, but marketplaces share part of that data with online centers, for operational purposes, fulfilling orders, customer support, and customer engagement.  
  • [24:18] What do you see as the most common mistake that brands make regarding D2C? What do you think is the most important thing for them to look out for?
  • [24:27] The first mistake that I see most brands are making is that they believe that going D2C will create channel conflict, it actually doesn’t. If managed properly, it doesn’t create conflict. 
  • [26:10] I believe that today you had actually prepared some case studies for us to learn from examples. I would definitely love to hear about that.
  • [32:15] Could you share some advice on how the brands should manage the problems that occur in terms of convincing the distributor to go online or to have the same vision as the company has?
  • [32:31] I think what is most important is that the brand has to work with the distributor to align interests and define a program that makes sure that distributors make money and there should be transparency between the brand and the distributor.
  • [34:15] What is the thought process for Anchanto in growing and hiring during a crisis?
  • [34:43] I believe that crisis is the best time to hire people. A crisis is a time when the best companies are made because if you can survive a crisis and make something good out of it, you can really excel in normal situations.
  • [37:37] What is the most in-demand skillset in your point of view today? How do you define a good CV that stands out in front of hiring managers?
  • [38:46] I spend more time on CVs which talks about numbers; which talks about the KPIs and numbers that are very practical to use rather than covering everything under the sun.
  • [39:37] I want to hire people who have been with a company when the company was in a protocol because then they know the pitfalls of growth and they know what it takes to develop a board strategy and an exhibit on that.
  • [41:32] The unemployment rate is through the roof, is there any advice that you can share with our audience or maybe to some job seekers out there?
  • [43:59] I understood that Anchanto is launching a podcast series as well. Could you share a little bit about what you are going to do? Who are some of the guests that you are planning to get on board? And what are the topics you would be covering?
  • [44:24] We want to get the CXOs of the industry, mainly the eCommerce logistics industry, and as them to come and think about what’s next and tap on their thought process.

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Visibility For All™ with Michael Farlekas President and Chief Executive Officer of E2open

Adaptability and Customer Value with Pascal Bensoussan CPO of Ivalua

Frictionless Supply Chain with Andrew Kirkwood CEO of BluJay

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LEX GREENSILL​

Chief Executive Officer, Greensill​

Lex is the co-founder and CEO of Greensill, and a Senior Advisor and Crown Representative to Her Majesty’s Government on Supply Chain Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to the British Economy in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley, and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi.

Lex holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland.