Episode IV – Avik Ashar, B2B Division Head at Zilingo
Zilingo is a technology and commerce platform in the fashion industry. The Singapore headquartered startup was founded in 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor and had operations spanning Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, India, and the United States.
The company started as a long-tail fashion marketplace leveraging Southeast Asia’s growing internet connectivity to bring small merchants from the street markets of Bangkok and Jakarta into the e-commerce fold, supported by distribution, cataloging, and financing services Zilingo began to offer. Zilingo expanded focus towards B2B opportunities across the supply chain with an eye on service opportunities the platform could offer to transform a fragmented, inefficient, cash, and tech-strapped value chain.
Avik Ashar is the Head of B2B at Zilingo and is currently expanding its presence in the Middle East and Europe. He left a comfortable life in Oman to set up the venture capital investment strategy at the Hiraco family office, which he continues to advise even today.
In this episode, you will learn:
- What did it take to convince a business family to invest in VC when most people did not know how to invest in that space?
- Witnessing Zilingo’s growth from 80 to 800 employees
- How Zilingo helps individuals and small businesses to set up their online presence
- His trip with me to an excellent (but now defunct) accelerator, The Morpheus.
- Why Avik choose to work for Zilingo after developing the knack for VC investing with the Hiraco family office?
- How Avik landed the job with a fast-growing startup and how did he become a part of the core team
- Avik’s first angel investment and whether it worked out as he had expected?
- What is Avik’s advice to fellow entrepreneurs looking to start, and how (or when) they should scale their ventures?