Going Online makes first acquisition
Company Chairman Paul Greenberg suggested more acquisitions of small retailers would arise as the market consolidates.
The purchase comes at a time when Going is strategically focusing on growing a customer base that is now demanding wholesale opportunities.
“There is a convergence of B2B and B2C when it comes to sales and we are looking at more acquisitions to bolster our customer bases,” said Going Managing Director, Neville Bear.
Going.co.za, launched in July of 2013, achieved exceptional growth in the first few months of trading and this strategic move follows a growing demand from customers seeking bargains in the form of excess stock, returned inventory, aged ranges and liquidation stock.
Diligo, founded in 2010 by Lauren Graham and Kimberley Wood, will now operate under the Going name where users will have access to lifestyle products at up to 70 percent off current retail prices.
Graham said: “It's an exciting time in the ecommerce space and after working with the Going team, I'm confident our customers are in good hands. I have no doubt Going will continue to offer users exceptional deals, in multiple categories, and continue to provide great service and delivery with their extensive logistics and sourcing experience.’’
Although primarily focused on the B2B market, this purchase shows Going’s intention to simultaneously build an offering selling excess brand name goods to cost conscious consumers who have been unable to get access to wholesalers.
The investment comes as a recent MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey showed significant increase in online shopping among South Africans, with 58 percent of respondents saying that they now use the Internet for online shopping.
This is an increase from the 44 percent who did online shopping in 2009, and 53 percent from 2010.
Greenberg said more ecommerce players will come on the market because they are finding themselves in a place where they have grown large customer databases but are not profitable.
“This no man’s land will be a challenge for ecommerce finding scale,” Greenberg said. “We saw the same thing in Australia and the United Kingdom, three years ago, where there was a proliferation of ecommerce spending big money building loyal customer following but as private equity funds dried up the lack of profitability caused a speedy market consolidation.
“The smaller players struggled to find momentum and either closed down or sold out to the bigger ones.”
Greenberg said his various acquisitions, including those in Australia and South Africa, are as much about the talent as they are for the companies’ infrastructure and customer bases.
“Acquisitions for talent are common in the tech space, Google does it often and it will happen more in South Africa, especially as the number of ecommerce sites grow.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.