BusinessToday speaks to Oxwhite on how the startup braced through an unprecedented time with the help of the Celcom Business Suite
For Oxwhite, the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was implemented on March 18 affirmed their belief on the importance of customer data. At a time where doors were closing and the fate of many were left uncertain, Oxwhite saw their business increase by three-fold.
“A large part of it is due to the fact that we are in the business of e-commerce and we have been actively engaging with our community in order for us to have basic details such as customer’s emails, phone numbers and interests,” says CK Chang, Founder of Oxwhite.
The initiative had provided the startup with an additional platform to connect with their customers and at the same time kept them informed of discounts and promotions. Oxwhite turned two this year and had grown from a 3-person operation to a 20-people organisation.
From selling just white shirts, the startup has expanded their product range to over 50 types of premium quality everyday products.
“We now ship our products to about 101 cities as compared to only the Klang Valley when we first started.” Oxwhite’s customer base has also more than doubled, from 4,000 to 80,000 customers.
“Each and every one of them are precious to us. As a startup, it is always important to stay closely connected with each and every one of them,” Chang says.
As a lifestyle based startup, Oxwhite has had to change gears to adapt to the unprecedented change in events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had triggered a series of lockdowns globally.
Joining other nations, the MCO which was implemented in Malaysia had everyone but healthcare frontliners and essential workers, to stay within their homes. “In order to suit the needs of people staying at home during the MCO, we switched gear and offered more basic lifestyle products as casual wears such as tee-shirts, innerwear and towels,” Chang told BusinessToday.
To aid them through the challenging period, Oxwhite had received the Celcom Business Suite which is part of the SME Digitalisation Grant.
The Celcom Business Suite plan helps SMEs in four areas, connectivity, operational productivity, traffic as well as for a seamless payment process.
“We were also fortunate enough to meet with Celcom’s representatives during a BFM Enterprise event. Although the grant was not made available to us at the time of the launch, Celcom had shared the necessary information with us,” he says.
This then allowed Chang and his team to try solutions under the grant scheme to kickstart the process, making Oxwhite one of the early batches to test the solution.
The startup founder says the web-based Enterprise Bulk Messaging-Connect feature that comes with the grant package is a good tool for businesses like themselves, which allowed them to better communicate and connect with their customer base.
Speaking on government aid to SMEs, Chang says it was commendable, particularly the introduction of wage subsidies and tax exemptions through the stimulus packages.
“However what would make this better is more leniency in the terms and conditions to make these grants more accessible to the SME community,” Chang tells BusinessToday.
What does the future hold?
“This is a year of expansion for Oxwhite. We expanded our reach by moving into online marketplaces such as Shopee. We have also just launched our new range of product categories like innerwear where we launched our wire-free bra, which is tailored to provide women with comfort and sufficient support for everyday activities,” the founder says.
Oxwhite will soon be launching their Performance activewear series consisting of tops, shorts and sports bras. The highlight of the series is expected to be the high quality materials that are moisture absorbing, sweat wicking and at the same time being a cool fit.
“We intent to grow our product range and provide more variety to our customers. Apart from that, we also intend to expand our reach into other platforms that we have yet to explore,” Chang concluded.