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 was it like to advise a family building wealth through diamonds to invest in tech companies? What were the roadblocks Avik faced in getting access to quality deals? How was Avik’s trip visiting the Morpheus for the first time? What were his key takeaways from this experience? What did Avik learn from his first write-off?
- What is Avik’s role at Zilingo? Why did Avik choose to work for Zilingo after developing the knack for VC investing with the Hiraco family office? How did Avik land the job with a fast-growing startup and become a part of the core team?
- What were the key challenges that he faced at Zilingo? How did he resolve these challenges? What can Zilingo do for individuals who want to sell their products and go one leg above their competition?
- What is it like for Avik to be on both sides of the board as a VC and a key man in a startup? What is Avik looking for currently in companies to add to his portfolio? What is Avik’s advice to fellow entrepreneurs looking to start, and how (or when) they should scale their ventures?