Taking Giant Leaps Across Southeast Asia

Anchanto founder, Vaibhav Dabhade talks to Business Today about digital transformation and sustaining this Malaysian success story

Owing to my passion for technology; my deepest aspiration of stating something of my own, I (Vaibhav Dabhade) started Anchanto in June 2011 in Singapore. Since inception, we have been helping our customers manage; run simplified end-to-end eCommerce operations with our SaaS products; associated services.

We developed the first version of eCommerce Warehouse Management System (eWMS) in early 2013 and secured early customers on the platform. But with growing demands from our customers and predicting a sizable opportunity, we established our own warehouse in Singapore. With this move, we became the first ever technology company that used its own platform; emerged as a leading eCommerce fulfillment player in the region.

As we continued to secure more customers, we moved to an even larger warehouse and signed up deals to enable cross-border deals across Europe;Southeast Asia. In November 2015, we completed our Series B round from Transcosmos Inc. Japan, and created an alliance to form the biggest eCommerce logistics business in the APAC region.
After this, we shifted our focus to the technology-led model and scaled our revenue massively in a short period. Riding on that success, we launched our eWMS; SelluSeller platforms across 9 countries in Southeast Asia, and went on to become a global B2B SaaS technology company that we are today.

Digital transformation and digitization are at the very heart of what we do at Anchanto. In fact, our very philosophy behind establishing Anchanto was to create products that could make eCommerce logistics & amply scalable, and built in a way that they can be used by sellers of all sizes- right from the small online sellers selling on a few marketplaces to large brands and distributors situated across multiple countries. Even our pricing structure is designed in a way that it enables all businesses to grow without any inhibitions. For a small seller processing 10 orders a day to a big distributor handling 35,000 orders per day, we charge only a flat price that is almost 2 to 3 times cheaper than our competitors.

Today, our platform is helping 6500+ online sellers and 250+ enterprise customers such as Nestle, Pos Malaysia, Lazada, DKSH, Luxasia, Bonia, Glampick, L’OREAL, Essilor, Maybelline, and many more streamline their eCommerce operations and scale revenue with utmost ease. The same platform is also helping our customers to break boundary barriers and manage eCommerce operations across any Southeast Asian country of their choice.

We have also been successful in demystifying some of the most common misconceptions prevalent in the Malaysian eCommerce market. Point in case: a lot of warehouse owners used to that an ‘accounting tool’ is enough for inventory management. We have been successfully able to communicate the difference to the logistics players, and as a result have witnessed a massive increase in the adoption of our eWMS platform.

Yet, our biggest contribution in the Malaysian market continues to be the stability our products have brought to the eCommerce ecosystem. Even with 100+ growing integrations, our platform is highly stable and ably supporting eCommerce at a colossal scale in Malaysia.

We are extremely proud of our contribution in simplifying the way eCommerce is conducted in the region. Today, a seller sitting in Malaysia with warehouses located across multiple locations can easily sell everywhere in Southeast Asia and manage everything through the same platform. This is what we call as making the world a flatter place!

Statista recently predicted that the current valuation of Southeast Asian eCommerce market is expected to reach $88 billion by 2025. Even the retail market is looking at an eightfold expansion than its current market size. All these numbers surely open up a massive door of opportunities for us, as we are positioned right at the centre of this ecosystem.

We strongly believe that to make the most of this opportunity, innovation is the key to deliver the best experience to our customers. Hence, we work tirelessly to keep adding new innovative features and integrations with online marketplaces, last mile carriers, accounting tools and ERP systems across Southeast Asia.

On the strategy part, our biggest focus right now is to strengthen our regional presence in Southeast Asia. We have started scaling our workforce across our offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Australia. We intend to set up technology, operations, sales, account management and customers support verticals in all major markets, so that we can get achieve our aim of becoming the most customer-centric company in our domain.

It is heartening to see the unprecedented support being offered by the government to help SMEs, sellers and entrepreneurs through various initiatives. This will not only help new businesses to establish and expand their eCommerce businesses in Malaysia, but will also help the nation’s economy significantly.

Malaysia is one of the most important markets for us. Hence, our partnership with MDEC is actually the highlight of our Malaysian strategy. The MDEC partnership has helped us be aligned with the most prominent initiatives such as the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and the eUsahawan.

We are actively organizing various successful events across Malaysia and helping a large number of SMEs, online sellers and entrepreneurs bypass complexities and set up their multichannel eCommerce businesses in Malaysia. Not only this, we are also offering exclusive discounts; offers to the companies registered with MDEC.

We recently raised Series C round funding from MDI Ventures, which happens to be the venture capital arm of one of our biggest customers- Telkom Indonesia. The Series C round is not over yet and we are in talks with a few other investors as well. We are expecting to close a total funding of $15 Million in the Series C Round.

Fuelled with the latest investment, we will be using the recent investments to expand our market outreach in the APAC region. As mentioned earlier, we will invest heavily in newer features, newer offices and newer teams to provide the best and most anchanting experience to all our customers.

As our local Malaysian team continues to grow in size, we are helping Malaysian brands and distributors to embrace digital transformation and conquer the entire SEA markets with our tried-and tested products, integrations, &; partnerships. We are also enabling the traditional logistics players to jump the eCommerce bandwagon and help them boost their revenue with their existing assets.

Today, we continue to grow multi-fold month-on-month, with our customers processing 10,000 orders every minute, getting to a total of USD 5.2 billion + GMV for orders processed till date. With exceptional customer success testimonies pouring in from all our markets, we are taking giant leaps towards our vision of being a part of every 3rd eCommerce order in Southeast Asia.