Startups in Industry 4.0: Earning around $140,000 from home in six months

16:30 | 09/07/2019
With limited capital, small manufacturing sites, and minimal experience in the global market, two millennial startups have relied on passion to bring their Vietnamese handicrafts to global customers. Let us find out their secret weapon to overcome every single challenge to secure success.
startups in industry 40 earning around 140000 from home in six months
Startups like that of Tony Trieu prove very successful as his handicrafts are now favoured by many overseas buyers

90 per cent of revenue from e-commerce

Having graduated with a degree in IT, Tony Trieu decided to head in another direction – business – because he wanted to pursue a career path that offers independence, flexibility, and a high income.

Before establishing Ecomstone, a company that is specialised in manufacturing and supplying handmade products, Tony Trieu had incurred many failures opening stores and restaurants. Afterwards, he switched to importing handicrafts from China, which did not end well due to a lack of resources and complicated regulations.

Fortunately, he quickly found a new opportunity to do business with Vietnamese handicrafts. “I realised that Vietnamese handmade products are sophisticated enough to go global and compete against other countries. Therefore, instead of importing, why not export?” Tony says.

At the time, Tony Trieu encountered numerous challenges: the small scale of his business, limited capital, lack of experience and knowledge about global markets, and language barriers. However, leveraging his experiences importing traditional goods, he realised that there may be better ways to operate as a merchant.

Amazon currently has more than 175 fulfilment centres around the world, helping sellers deliver their products to customers in 185 countries and regions.

Since he had some time doing business on e-commerce channels, Tony Trieu began to consider e-commerce as a potential direction to reach the international marketplace.

“I am ambitious when it comes to work, but as ‘a family man’, I do not want to spend every minute doing business while neglecting my wife and my children. Therefore, I have to find a way to automate my business – Amazon was the first name that came to mind to help my products go global more easily,” he shared.

This decision has brought the young businessman a revenue of more than VND3.2 billion ($139,000) in just six months. “One year after getting on board, with substantial and comprehensive assistance from Amazon Global Selling, we’ve increased our revenue by 150 per cent. Currently, 90 per cent of Ecomstone’s revenue comes from this marketplace,” Tony Trieu revealed.

Entrusting Amazon with most of the work, he appreciates not only the efficiency of his business but also the free time he has for his family.

Just take care of your products; let Amazon look after “going global"

Like Tony Trieu, Chieu Han, CEO and co-founder of Andre Gift Shop, also has a fierce passion for Vietnamese handicrafts. She used to spend days and nights in a small attic producing handmade accessories and appliances with only four other workers.

Chieu Han’s dream of taking her products abroad had, to some degree, come true when she co-operated with a wholesale distributor for a few foreign customers. However, this was not enough. “Being unable to sell directly to retail customers in other countries stopped Andre Gift Shop from going further,” Chieu Han shared.

startups in industry 40 earning around 140000 from home in six months
Chieu Han found her own path with e-commerce

In 2013, this millennial startup found a golden opportunity to “take one step further and go global” with Amazon. “Although e-commerce was not a big thing in Vietnam at the time, Amazon had become a household name around the world. Within a short period of time, Andre Gift Shop grew tremendously, expanding its manufacturing scale to a 300 square metre site with 35 workers.

“Currently, Amazon accounts for 50 per cent of our online revenue,” Chieu Han says. She recognises that foreign countries are, in fact, the right market for “made in Vietnam” handicrafts, so she focuses on increasing her sales on Amazon instead of other Vietnamese e-commerce websites.

On the other hand, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) has helped streamline many of the operational stages in Andre Gift Shop’s business. “Just imagine how much time and effort it requires to manage and afford warehouses, to pack and ship orders, to track remaining orders on the inventory, or to handle complaints and domestic orders. And then there are still issues about brand management, marketing, shipping, and customer service. FBA handles them all and allows us to focus on developing the best products,” Chieu Han noted.

startups in industry 40 earning around 140000 from home in six months
Andre Gift Shop’s products are an outstanding success in the international market

FBA is also the tool that allows Tony Trieu to entrust Amazon Global Selling with his business and spend more time with his family.

“Thanks to FBA, I do not need to wake up in the middle of the night to handle orders by customers on the other side of the globe,” the Ecomstone owner said. He also expressed that he has been unable to find another service like FBA at other e-commerce channels that he had previously worked with.

Amazon currently has more than 175 fulfilment centres around the world, helping sellers deliver their products to customers in 185 countries and regions. This is the reason that Amazon, with FBA, can facilitate sellers in many countries to export their goods abroad efficiently.

It can be said that there are many “made in Vietnam” products on Amazon that help to lift Vietnamese national pride, such as Golden Star balm, Vietnamese bamboo palm leaf conical hats, Trung Nguyen coffee, and so on.

Now, Amazon – with Amazon Global Selling – has opened a new door for businesses to overcome obstacles and trade barriers, and to achieve international success. This e-commerce channel will open the doors for more businesses similar to Andre Gift Shop and Ecomstone to take attractive Vietnamese products to the international market.

By Anh Duc

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