Fresh out of the studio, Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO and founder of Daraz, joined us to discuss the origins of the e-commerce marketplace and the key trends on technology and business across South Asia in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bjarke shed light on the backstory on how Daraz was eventually acquired and fully owned by Alibaba Group. Last but not least, he shared his perspectives on the business trends in South Asia and explained how the businesses in region is poised to grow along with Daraz.
"The way we've designed our strategy in the way of the businesses that we need to create sustainable value, and we need to do something good for the communities and the markets that we operate in. That is the best way to create shareholder value." - Bjarke Mikkelsen
Here are the links and show notes for this episode:
- Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO and founder of Daraz (Linkedin)
- How did you start your career?
- What are the key lessons you have learned through your own career journey and can share it with my audience out there?
- Can you share the mission and vision of Daraz?
- What do the early days of Daraz look like before it evolved to a technology company that focuses on e-commerce, logistics, payment infrastructure and financial services?
- Can you share the story of how Daraz was eventually acquired by Alibaba Holdings and what are the key takeaways from the acquisition?
- What is the current evolution of Daraz as part of Alibaba’s growth strategy in the South Asia region?
- What does great look like for Daraz in a decade’s time?
Business Trends in South Asia
- Can you define what constitutes the South Asia region and what are the key markets in this region?
- How should investors and industry watchers view South Asia as an emerging digital economy market excluding India?
- Given the investment made by China from the One Belt One Road initiative, how is the South Asia market transforming with the infrastructure build up?
- What are the key startups and investors within the region?
- What are the key verticals rising from the region, for example, can you talk about how the fintech space has evolved in the region?
- How has Daraz contributed to the South Asia ecosystem?
- What are your thoughts on the future of the region?
- Any recommendations (a book, podcast, movie or TV series) that have inspired you recently?
- Bjarke's recommendation: "The Ride of a Lifetime" by Bob Iger and "The Importance of Living" by Lin Yutang
- How do my audience find you?
Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.