Arne Jeroschewski: McKinsey Founder Untraining, eCommerce Logistics Myths & Bravery Hindsight - E213

· Founder,Southeast Asia,Start-up,Purpose,Podcast Episodes English

One of the interesting things is, first of all, ecommerce logistics technically grows faster than ecommerce itself. That's what a lot of people don't even realize. Because the average order sizes goes down, we have a shift towards marketplaces, marketplaces, basically pull things from different sellers, so that there technically more and more parcels being sent. If you order more things, you don't necessarily pull orders anymore that you order like 15 things at one time, you just order one if you like it, then the next and then the next. So ecommerce and the number of shipments grows much much faster than ecommerce. That's one of the key things, also it's quite an eye opening realization also for investors in the space.-Arne Jeroschewski

Arne is the Co-Founder and CEO of Parcel Perform, the leading delivery experience platform for businesses covering 950+ logistics carriers worldwide. Before founding Parcel Perform, Arne was Vice President for Business Development at DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific, where he led the development of e-commerce logistics products as well as market entries throughout Asia. Prior to that, he was Vice President at Singapore Post’s SP eCommerce, where he was responsible for the B2C e-commerce businesses including vPost and Omigo. In 2012, Arne was the founding CEO of ZALORA, South East Asia’s leading fashion e-commerce player across 8 markets. Arne was a long-time management consultant at McKinsey & Company where he worked on technology projects in Europe, Africa, and Asia. He is a trained economist and holds a Ph.D. in regulatory economics.

Jeremy Au: (00:00)
Hi, Arne, I'm really excited to have you on the show to discuss, obviously your own founder journey, as well as what you see of Southeast Asia. I'd love for you to briefly introduce yourself.

Arne Jeroschewski: (00:41)
Hi, Jeremy. It's fantastic to be here. And I'm really looking forward to the chat about myself. I'm Arne, I'm the CEO and founder of Parcel Perform. Parcel Perform is a delivery experience platform for ecommerce merchants, we help merchants and marketplaces worldwide to manage the customer experience post checkout. We do this by integrating with a lot of different carriers and integration partners and ensure that we can deliver the best experience for end customers for our partners. So this is one of our mottos and mantras that we feel that everyone deserves a great ecommerce experience. And that's what we want to do as possible from to deliver across the globe.

Jeremy Au: (01:21)
How did you get started as an entrepreneur, you're a consultant, you were a CEO of Zalora, you were a GM share us a little bit of journey with that?

Arne Jeroschewski: (01:33)
Okay, and no problem. I started my professional journey with McKinsey. As a consultant tech in Europe, I was based out of Germany. And at that time, my work focused around the mobile telecom sector, there was a time when 3G and LTE networks were rolled out. And I think it was a very exciting space, there was a lot of growth, a lot of like, ideas around new services that come out. So this is how I spent the first five years of my professional life, working in Europe and Middle East, Africa around this topic. Nevertheless, this sector in Europe got a lot more established. So I really look for new challenges. And that's when I am relocated to Singapore, to work with customers here in this part of the world. So I spend time working in the Philippines and Indonesia, Thailand, also working on the mobile telecom sector. And that was a great experience. But by that time, we were already realized, telecoms, everything was moving into a flat rate economy, it became a lot less interesting. So that's why I was looking for new challenges. And that's when the opportunity was Zalora came around, I loved the idea of exploring ecommerce, which at that time, was still a very early stage. And so I loved the opportunity to jump into this and being a part of the first players in Southeast Asia to establish an E commerce business. So we did that, with Zalora. And I was with Zalora setting up the first eight markets at that time, literally getting exposure to seeing how ecommerce works in markets like Singapore, but on the other hand, like Indonesia, up to Taiwan, so that was a great experience to see the E commerce system evolving and also see how each of these markets with different, one of the things that came true for me is my interest in the area around ecommerce logistics, because that was one of the key drivers for success in E commerce that we very early on realized. So with that I wanted to stay in the space and then trying to sync post and then a little later DHL ecommerce, to really focus on ecommerce logistics and how it can help ecommerce merchants to deliver a better service. So I spent quite a bit of time with DHL ecommerce, it was a great opportunity to learn the logistics side from the perspective of a logistics player, and how to build services for ecommerce from delivery additional services on top. But one of the key lessons that we learned speaking to many ecommerce merchants was, we don't just want to work with one carrier, because we have so many different markets, service levels, small products, big products, some people want to fast, somewhat slow. So you end up working with so many different logistics players, so that even if DHL at a time deliver the most amazing service, they will still go and work with multiple players. And one of the things that will always was a big complexity driver and a little bit of a problem for the customer experience is that they have to work with that many players and need to create a great experience across all those different players they work with and there was no platform in the market that makes this any easier. So that's when we said hey, this is not a problem we can solve within DHL, this is something we have to solve outside DHL because you need to be carrier agnostic, carrier independent. And that's when the idea of parcel perform was born. And Dana, my co founder, and I said, let's do it. Let's try it out. This is the right time to get started on this. And everything pointed to the direction that our timing was about.

Jeremy Au: (05:16)
Amazing. I think a lot of interesting dynamics here, when we zoom in, you are management consultant for such a long time. Why did you decide to leave management consulting to take on this entrepreneurial founding role or the founding CEO at Zalora or what was that decision, like?

Arne Jeroschewski: (05:34)
If you go into management consulting for the early years, your work is all about finding solutions for customers and their particular business problems. So you learn a lot begin being exposed to different functional domain. So you work on on product topics, you work on technologies, they work on marketing topics, procurement, in different parts of the world and different businesses. So it's super exciting, because it gives you like a unique perspective on the business world with exposure into so many different areas. So there's a great learning journey for anyone coming out of school wanting to explore what business life is like. So the more senior you get in consulting, then you start managing your projects, you get to have teams, you work up more in complex settings, you have a broader settings with multiple teams. So that's when you build up a skill set. But it's certainly a level the consulting job moves away from solving problems into exploring opportunities, to sell more projects to the customer. So when it turns from solving this problem into like, selling the problem solving, that's when I think, this is not what excites me as much. So this one, I said, I learned what I needed to learn to understand the business world, how to run a solve problems and run teams that solve problems. That's when I wanted to go, let me go into the industry to build something myself and solve problems myself, rather than just being the Hired Gun to do it for others.
Jeremy Au: (07:10)
Amazing. What's interesting is that you're shuffled back, you go back to being an operator in a larger organization. So what was the experience? Because I think people normally make the shift, and they stay there. So what was driving that decision to say, I want to double down in this vertical call logistics in E commerce. But I would like to do this in a larger player.
Arne Jeroschewski: (07:32)
The honest answer is at that time, in my professional career, consulting was the only thing I've seen an experience, you always want to go to the other side, because you want to add that experience to your portfolio or to your CV. One of the things when we set up the Zalora as much as was an exciting journey, I will say it with any particular fast scaling. And at that time, Rocket Internet was a very unique place to be working. There's a lot of like unique experiences you can gather, where you also sometimes feel, a little bit more of a structured environment might be useful at times. And that's when I also said, I really liked the E commerce logistics vertical, I like to have a little bit of less code, Arctic environment where we built substance from scratch. That's why I said this is now the right time for me to move on and to first of all, ecommerce logistics space. And in the more bigger organization, where you build services more methodically. So obviously, then after doing that for a while, it's a tough course, you miss the intrapreneurial side of things, the fast decision making, the flexibility you have, because so few in the bigger organization, they're like, very different decision making logics, we weren't part of their headquarter, we were sitting in Asia, where the headquarters in Europe. So there's a lot of complexities or red tape that you have to deal with. So I was missing the intrapreneurial vibe that I had. So and that's where when the time came, and I said, I really have this idea and opportunity that we could be pursuing with parcel perform, that I also had the confidence where I said, let's do it, for me to also get back to this intrapreneur work environment. And it's also a different experience. If you start a company from scratch, where you have to basically rebuild the initial product, find supporters, whereas starting a business with obviously in the setting of Rocket Internet with all the capital and the ambition and the pressure. It's a very different experience. And I appreciate that starting it the normal way, as a founder where you just build the business, find supporters and then bit by bit you enhance everything, you validate product market fit, you find your first customers. That was the very valuable journey that we went through. It wasn't easy all the time. But it's an experience I don't want to miss.

Jeremy Au: (10:08)
And you share that, you decided to specialize, and it because you liked and loved ecommerce logistics. And that's an interesting vertical to be interested in. Because when I was a consultant, I got to see that, consumer b2b telecoms, as well as hardware as well. And it's interesting to see you specialize that across, not only multiple roles, but also multiple domains. So lots of folks are passionate about a creative economy, or VR or gaming. I think that's not easy. But what was it about e commerce logistics that made it compelling for you?

Arne Jeroschewski: (10:39)
I think one of the things that we realized when setting up the Zalora here in Southeast Asia, one of the key metrics for success, very much belief, so still is that you manage the logistics process well, and everything around it. So Logistics is not just the shipping from A to B, it's the whole experience after checkout. Because for us at that time, we realized, Okay, we just wanted to get the revenue and ecommerce Logistics was just there to make it happen to the customer gets that product. But we were more focused on bringing a new customer, new business. So we needed to excite people with the right products and have the marketing sorted out. But what was very apparent already at that time is for you to be successful in the long run, the customer need to trust the product, it's about retention, by customers coming back, making it part of their routine to buy from you as a store. And that's where logistics plays an important role. Because the customer doesn't appreciate or doesn't even aware of the marketing channel, they can came to know about the shop. But they essentially will remember is the experience they had. And that's very much linked to the post purchase process, as well as the logistics process that they experienced. So that's where I believe, for the long term success of ecommerce, this is one of the most important domains, obviously, SEO certainly to do your marketing, right. And you need to have the right products. That’s Fair enough. But for what I feel this is the area also we're not very many people spend the time to think through, how can we excel in logistics, how we can excel in the E commerce experience. That's where we felt, this is a domain where I can make a difference. That's where we basically said, Hey, Parcel perform is for me, the company, the business that tries to make life better for consumers worldwide. And obviously, in the process build a sizable business that we can be proud of.

Jeremy Au: (12:42)
As a founder, you're just domain expertise that was relevant for the company you're building. Did you find anything relevant or transferable for your time as a McKinsey consultant that made it easier to operate either as a founder or CEO and time to come?

Arne Jeroschewski: (12:57)
The learnings you have from being a consultant is less tangible, that I learned marketing or I learned this or that, it's mostly about how you tackle problems, to be effective as a consultant is to basically be able faced with any kind of problems, or to have a very methodical structure way of solving it, bring the organization or the team that you're working with along, make sure that you build rapport behind the solution. These are all skills that are not specific, to any particular functional domain or any particular problem. But it's a methodology on how you operate. And that has been useful throughout my career, whether you're solving problems in your customer companies as a consultant, or whether you start your own business, whether you work for a big corporate, the process, or the tool set that you learn in consulting is something that's very useful. That's where I'm also incredibly grateful for that experience, to be able to learn this in the context of so many organizations. And that contributed to me being successful in many of the opportunities afterwards.

Jeremy Au: (14:10)
And what would you say are the things that did not transfer well to being a founder CEO, because I went through that same experience, right, as a consultant at Bain, and I became a founder. And I realized that I learned some stuff, it doesn't work right, doesn't fly. So what would you say are some of the things that stopped working for you or that you had to consciously choose change?

Arne Jeroschewski: (14:26)
I think one of the things that you need to get used to is you need to be super granular. As a consultant, you pay to be high level, to be abstract, to inspire people strategically. So it's okay for other people to sort out the details. That's obviously not an approach that works well as a startup founders. It's also when you start a business literally, you're not just there to follow the thought process and the great ideas, you actually need to get stuff done. And that's part of the journey. You have to go through and it's literally every job that there's an company, there was a time in the past that I had to do it. We just hired a CFO for parcel perform. But literally, I can recall where I did every part of the job myself from building the model, paying people at the end of the month, setting up the accounting software in the first place. And that's a very rewarding experience. And this is the stuff you need to unlearn. And being a consultant is like, okay, it's great, to have the strategy and the ideas, but it's all about being granular, being able to challenge everyone on the functional domain in detail. That's one thing you need to do differently than you probably used to. And one of the war stories that were saved in the Rocket Internet days is like, okay, strategy is the thing that you do for five minutes under the shower in the morning, and the rest of the day you execute, although obviously, that's an exaggeration. I think that's emblematic of the unlearning process that some people have to go through coming from consulting.

Jeremy Au: (16:05)
That's a really good transition that I really empathize with myself, you can make the nicest white board and the DAC and business plan. But the honest reality is what actually gets done. And what actually gets done is often you have to do it yourself, with your co founder and best divide and conquer. Anything else that you think was part of the, training process? I guess one thing that I do think of that had to get untrained off is like, data maybe collection. So McKinsey and Bain is very much like these large reports, macros, and I found it very much talking to the customer, and getting the feedback from them directly, which is a very different level altogether. Anything else that comes up to mind about stuff that you have to untrain, you notice that management consultant struggle when it transitioned to becoming a founder?

Arne Jeroschewski: (16:50)
I think one thing that was a great learning process, for me is essentially tech. So as a management consulting company obviously, that has changed in the last 10 years. But nevertheless, it wasn't the most tech savvy space, and you didn't have to, it was all about big ideas, you get incredibly savvy and building PowerPoint presentations and exit models. But I think really understanding technology, software, software development, software development processes, that wasn't something that you can pick up or easily learn in that environment. So I worked with mobile telecom companies. So I was familiar on how the networks work, and how do we roll them out and what the technology is behind it. But the notion of technology and software development, and that was entirely new for me. So this was a learning that, I think through Zalora, and then more work around to the logistics industry. That's the knowledge I acquired then and even starting parcel perform. The first few years was very much a tech learning journey for me. From business background, I did a PhD in economics. So this is also not the domain that's most tech savvy. There's one thing so Tech is one, I think the other area is data and the capabilities of data, because obviously at the time, when I started as consultant 2005. What is now called data science and machine learning AI was called statistics. So very much similar things, but a lot less exciting and sexy. But that they're really understanding and bracing the notions on what data can do? How you set up a business and opportunity in order to leverage as much data as possible. I think this is something you also have to learn by doing. There's now a lot of courses in university, etc, that already ingest you with the right mindset for it. But that wasn't the case at the time. And frankly, not even in consulting in the late 2000s. So data was just something you'd collect in order to get stuff done. It was hardly a purpose by itself. And that's where I think, for me personally, that was one of the great learning journeys to somebody, okay, who was quite proficient in statistics to now embrace and understand, what machine learning AI can do, that it's no longer like working with models. It's like, literally coding discipline right now. That's the great learning journey. Although I'm not able to do it myself, I believe it was great to get an enough exposure to be able to understand how this can be leveraged for the business to be successful.

Jeremy Au: (19:32)
There's a lot of stuff to learn in McKinsey, but also stuff to unlearn right as being a founder. And what you've done and built over time is this large, logistics business in terms of being thoughtful about the categories space. Do you feel like Southeast Asia, What else is there to build in terms of E commerce logistics, from your perspective, using the skills?
Arne Jeroschewski: (19:53)
We are technology platform, so we're not building the logistics businesses that's also incredibly hot. So I'm happy not to do that. Now, if I look at it from the perspective of a consumer, there's still a lot to be desired when it comes to e commerce. So when we think about ecommerce, it's not just, you order something and you get it, that obviously works by now, it wasn't the case in 2012 when we started, but by now, everyone can order literally anything, eventually get there. So what we have seen also over the last two year with the pandemic is, now the next step for ecommerce is to be seamlessly integrating in everyone's daily life. So basically, replacing patterns of going shopping. I think groceries is an important one, where you're like, Okay, how do you organize your life? How do you get stuff? How do you make this as seamless as possible for yourself. And that's where there's a lot of kind of opportunities to make ecommerce more accessible for consumers, and easier to use. And we're seeing and we're getting inspiration from different geographies. One important element is delivery times. So if you order something, it's on average still takes like a week, because stuff gets shipped from overseas, delivery times are still very unpredictable. If you do the same, let's say in Korea, or Japan, which is always a great example. You order something and four hours later, it shows up. And it's not because you ordered like a super expensive same day service. It's because that's not. And I think, then, if you know that whatever you order, comes four hours later, you think about e commerce and shopping through this channel very differently. And that transition, a lot of markets and consumers still have to make, right now, we also trained to know, okay, if I want something faster, I need to pay more, in those markets, they turned around that logic, is like delivering faster means using the same infrastructure and asset more efficiently. So it actually becomes cheaper, because you can use the same track 24 hours or the same sorting Center for 24 hours instead of just once a day. And that's where the whole industry and that's needs to also rethink the way they think about ecommerce Logistics is saying, for this to really very changed in the way consumers interact with the service. I think the logistics industry needs to make that transition. Another big topic is collection points. Because one example I always say, 50 years ago, if you get the letter, the postman came to you and gave you the letter, that was okay, because they only had like God knows you get a letter every week or something. Then they realized, Okay, now that the customer is getting so many letters, that's inefficient. So they started building postboxes, because that wasn't the case, like in the very early days, we're now getting to the same stage for parcels, instead of giving it every parcel by itself, some households get like, two three parcels a day, on average. That's not a smart way of doing it. So that's where locker boxes, collection points are like, even in bigger condominiums apartment buildings, to have like a parcel lockers in every house entrance. This is the future to really make it part of your normal life. And so you collect your mail in the post box and you collect your parcels in the parcel box that are next to it. And countries like Singapore, making important steps where they have like, Okay, roll out, big parcel, look at infrastructure. But even that, you can get a lot more granular. And that's how we really start changing patterns for consumers to really be excited for ecommerce and adopted in a very different way. And that's where we believe a lot of the growth will come from, over the next few years.

Jeremy Au: (23:49)
You're sharing some really important truths about the E commerce logistics system. Are there any myths or misconceptions about e commerce logistics that you'd like to debunk or shed some light on?

Arne Jeroschewski: (24:00)
One of the interesting things is, first of all, ecommerce logistics technically grows faster than ecommerce itself. That's what a lot of people don't even realize. Because the average order sizes goes down, we have a shift towards marketplaces, marketplaces, basically pull things from different sellers, so that there technically more and more parcels being sent. If you order more things, you don't necessarily pull orders anymore that you order like 15 things at one time, you just order one if you like it, then the next and then the next. So ecommerce and the number of shipments grows much much faster than ecommerce. That's one of the key things, also it's quite an eye opening realization also for investors in the space. A few years back, everyone thought okay, ecommerce Logistics is dominated by three four big players per market, the incumbent players always win in this space. What we're seeing in the industry is a whole industry is now fragmented, like we counted in Singapore that is Almost 15 companies that can deliver parcels to your doorstep, this number is growing over time, where we are seeing that there's a lot more competition, a lot more innovative services coming up. And it's not an industry that is like dominated by one or two big players, which is fantastic news for consumers. Not so great news if you're the incumbent that was dominating the market previously. But that's what we're seeing. And this is getting really exciting for consumers. And there are a lot of new trends coming out of it. And the myth that everyone said, this is the market, we have players, and nothing is going to come about in terms of change and innovation. We're seeing a lot of innovation there. And there's still a lot more to come. The other area is about consumer and of expectations. So one that will be said about delivery time. If you look at parcel delivery time, some carriers are faster than others, that doesn't necessarily mean that their trucks drive faster. It's a lot about them organizing themselves, so the parcel doesn't sit in a particular hub waiting for too long. So I mentioned earlier, there's the myth that something that's delivered faster needs to be more expensive, it's actually, it can be more efficient, you don't need that much space to store the passes while they wait around. So it's actually cheaper to get it done fast. That's an important thing, also for everyone to realize. And for the carriers to realize, being fast is not just a premium service. But that's essentially what they need to do in order to be successful in the long run. The last element is from the consumer experience point of view, delivery time is not the only thing that matters, a lot of consumers, they don't want to organize their life around ecommerce, they want ecommerce to organize around their life. So there's a lot of services coming up, particularly in Europe and US about redirecting deliveries, rescheduling deliveries, easy acceptance, returns. So this paradigm shift that you have to organize yourself to get your parcels. It's already happening at very fast pace. And that will be a big change for the industry that they say, we need to work around what the consumer wants to have, rather than dictating, this is our service, take it or leave it. That's a big learning, sometimes painful learning for the industry. But something we are very excited about because we as a business thrive for many players coming up from consumers being demanding about the experience. That's the lifeblood for us as parcel perform. And that's why we're exciting to be in the space.

Jeremy Au: (27:39)
Amazing. It was interesting that you mentioned how the market doesn't trend towards the single player but to more fragmentation. That's confusing, because one of the advantages, of course, is economies of scale. And so you would think that we have logistics, the more packages they are, the more volume there is, economies of scale become more and more important. And therefore, it should trend towards the largest players who have the most economies of scale. There's at least one way to think about it. So what's wrong with this mental model? Or what's wrong? Is it because they're not able to compete on innovation? Is it because ecommerce is a whole new category? Could you share a little bit more about why economies of scale is insufficient for the incumbents to hold on to the market share?

Arne Jeroschewski: (28:20)
The economies of scale, and as soon as whatever the vehicle is, that you use to ship the parcels is full. So if you go, let's say outside of Singapore, or if you go to cities like Jakarta, Bangkok or Manila, or the big metropolis, a lot of the delivery done via motorcycles, so and you can put big boxes on the motorcycles, but there's a physical limitation on what you can do there. If you basically have enough passes for a motorcycle to be relatively efficient delivering parcels, having doubled the amount of parcels, just means that you have double the amount of motorcycles, but you don't have many cost advantages anymore. Because they literally fit in, 20, 30 parcels, then you have to go back to the hub to get the next slot. So you don't have this efficiency gains anymore. If you go to cities like Singapore, you don't use motorcycles for delivery, you need vans. But with vans, you also have the same logic there. At some stage, you don't fit any more parcels in that van. Particularly if you start pooling passwords to lock up boxes, or like parcel shops, and you drop 50 parcels there. So probably if you really really push it, you get maybe a 500 parcels in the big van. But then you go to 10 Different locker boxes and then it literally then you have to go back and get more parcels. The notion that the size of the vehicle limits your efficiency. It's something that only becomes apparent over the last few years. And that's where anyone who's able to fill that van efficiently, has a good business to work with and the efficiency gains beyond that are relatively minor, and that's the element that's fueling this fragmentation, where you say, there's a sufficiently large element for this particular service level, or for this geographical area that say, it's worth having another carrier, particularly if that carrier operates in a much better cost structure, because it's much leaner, it has better technologies, etc.

Jeremy Au: (30:26)
That's really interesting, because what you're saying is economies of scale does exist, but it exists in different layers. Some layers are more amenable to economies of scale, that advantage and some areas, some geographies that have those layers, just don't have that same level. And so actually being thoughtful about what layer this is interesting. I think in that world, when you think about the world, obviously, you see so many aggregators. So they're trying to say, okay, all these logistics companies. Like I said, you can't afford to differentiate yourself with them. They're going to be fragmented because of these different levels, economies of scale. How do you see that transition for aggregation as well, because there are so many different aggregator players as well as Shippo. For example, possible forms of off, so how do you see aggregation? Is that also to be fragmented? Because there's going to be different layers of point of view, or how do you see that playing out?

Arne Jeroschewski: (31:18)
There are two very distinct business models on this aggregation. Layer One is what we call resellers. So basically, you buy a logistics service from like 5, 10, different carriers, get some red cards and resell it to other players, so they can just buy all of it from you. That's a great business model, particularly for smaller merchants, who don't want to have like five different contracts with the aggregation of volumes, they also get better rates than any particular merchant would get. So that's a very valid business model. And that's interesting for carriers to work with also, because it lowers the cost to serve. Because as a carrier, you don't want to contract with that many small players just for a few, two or three shipments a day, that's simply not worth it. So they appreciate those resellers to just take over that part of the process and consolidate volumes. Nevertheless, the carriers understand that this is a bit dangerous, because once they give them good rates, they can undermine the rates that the carrier themselves gives to their bigger customers. So that's where the moment that customer gets bigger, they will start working with the carriers directly because they get better rates from them. That's when the second category of aggregators, which possible form belongs to comes into play, where we are not putting ourselves in the commercial relationship between the carrier and the merchants, we are an unbiased platform, towards our customers, we don't care or we don't get involved in which carrier is the one that they work with or partner with, what we're doing is we just make that process of partnering a lot easier. So they can integrate to our platform, we take care of all the technical complexities, data transfer, back and forth to the carrier, that's all handled by our platform. They just tell us who they work with, but they agree on the pricing. This is also a business model, which carriers also appreciate a lot more because they don't lose control over the rate cards, that commercial relationships, we just make it easier for the merchant to work with the 10, sometimes 20 carriers that may be relevant for them, for their customers and a business model that works particularly with bigger customers in the enterprise segment. And I think that's where it gets also interesting because those merchants are bigger. And they probably operate cross border, they have more complex supply chains, and they have to do cross border returns. And that's where companies like ours, Parcel perform is thriving, because that complexity would otherwise be very difficult to manage, if you just have to build everything in house.

Jeremy Au: (33:49)
On that note, could you share with us a time that you personally have been brave?

Arne Jeroschewski: (33:52)
Well, for me, personally, the time I felt very brave or reckless at that time, we didn't know yet. When we took the decision to start Parcel Perform. For me personally, you work in a big company, obviously, you have a decent salary, I was married, we had kids, I was 36 years old. So normally, that's not a time when you're at ease to take a decision, I let go of all my salary, and just start a business without knowing whether it's going to work or when it's going to work. That requires quite a lot of conviction. And at that moment, I felt brave to really make take that decision. Of course, we're excited about the space, there was a bit of the push element, wanting to go back to the intrapreneurial journey. But if you look at all the opportunity costs, it was a brave decision at that time because now we know, six years into the journey. We have a very sizable business, we have a market, the business model has been validated, the product has been validated. Now in hindsight, one can say this was a no brainer for from to begin with. But at that time, it was a very brave decision. I'm happy to turned out that way but it wasn't for sure certain at that time. So that's when I felt very brave.

Jeremy Au: (35:06)
You mentioned something interesting, which was that you didn't really know how brave you were at that point of time. And now you know that it was a very brave moment. So could you share a little bit more about why you feel that way?

Arne Jeroschewski: (35:18)
I'm somebody who's very excitable, that's probably important to be a startup founder. Because if you're not excited about your own product, it's hard to convince any investors and customers of the same product, you also know a level of excitement or being excited is a bias that you have, which probably makes you a lot more brave and taking risky decisions, which is important to be a founder. But at that time, probably it didn't feel as much of a very risky decision, because we were had like, 100% conviction that this is going to fly. Without that, I probably wouldn't have done it. In hindsight, looking at the market, some companies tried their luck in the same space, starting earlier or later, failed, because the timing wasn't right. So if you look at it, from the perspective of a high end site, I think it was quite a brave decision. Because there's a lot of elements that come to it. Obviously, the opportunity needs to be there, the timing needs to be right. There's an element of luck, meeting the right customers at the right time, meeting the right investors at the right time. So very much didn't realize these elements, when taking the decision, I probably wouldn't have taken that decision if I would have known this all about timing and luck, rather than just hard work. Because hard work, I was sure, we will enter, we can and we will put in. But it's not everything that matters. You realize it in hindsight. But you also look back, I was a little bit naive at the time, when taking the decision.

Jeremy Au: (36:51)
I'd love to wrap things up by synthesizing the three big themes. The first of course, is thank you so much for sharing, I think your experience being a McKinsey, but also choosing to become an operator. So Zalora, and being a founder, eventually, and what were the skills that transported well, and also some of the training that you had to do in terms of a bias to action in terms of data, in terms of what actually goes on in the business, of building a technology company. Also, thank you so much for sharing about why you're passionate about e commerce, logistics, and also a lot of the misconceptions and myths around it. Especially why interested was to hear was about how logistics scales faster than E commerce because of average order value and how to compare the market is still very fragmented. So these are all great learnings. Lastly, I really enjoyed some of the insight about how brave you are in retrospect versus not feeling like you're brave and feeling like there was no brainer when you first found it, and how some of that naivety insulate you and help expedite you in terms of making decision whilst you are 36 year old dad and husband and choosing to do something and it's awesome that things have worked out over the past six years in terms of luck, circumstance, timing, and as well as your own hard work and expertise. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Arne Jeroschewski: (38:09)
Thanks for having me. Very much enjoyed the conversation.