Enda Breslin, EMEA GM of ShipBob, the US global logistics platform that fulfils ecommerce orders for small and medium-sized direct-to-consumer businesses, tells us how they built their brand
- Give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your company
ShipBob is an omnichannel global logistics platform, disrupting the ecommerce industry by giving small and medium-sized brands an Amazon Prime-like experience by providing rapid and cost-effective deliveries.
The only 3PL partner you’ll need with reliable fulfilment services, warehouses near your customers, and connected technology that powers our fulfilment network. We help improve transit times, shipping costs, and the delivery experience for your customers.
Our mission is to make SME businesses more successful online by providing best-in-class fulfilment so their customers get the fast and affordable shipping they expect. They can personalise and own the customer experience as ShipBob offers a branded and custom packaging experience.
- What inspired you to set up your company
Our founder, Dhruv Saxena, left India to study engineering in the US and whilst at college decided to launch SnailMail pics, an app that allowed users to quickly send physical pictures to loved ones. As the business expanded Dhruv found he spent more time trying to fulfil and deliver his orders than on growing the business, a common problem for startups, which inspired the idea for a new startup to automate ecommerce fulfilment. Since launching ShipBob in 2014, the business has grown massively. Dhruv’s had to navigate the tech world and the more old-school warehousing/shipping industry, launching 27 ShipBob warehouses around the world, all while building a tech platform that gives brands the analytics to track and ship stock globally.
To join as EMEA GM and launch the business in Europe is a fantastic opportunity, we’re well established in the US but this presents a new opportunity to build from the ground up in the UK. Dhruv’s background and vision for where ShipBob can go, provides all the inspiration we need to make this a success.
- What was your biggest challenge in year one
One of the main challenges in any startup is hiring the right people so we place a huge emphasis on the importance of this process. When hiring we always ask the same three questions regardless of role:
- Do you believe this person is smarter than you in the role offered? This helps us keep raising the bar with talent and increases the knowledge and expertise within the business.
- Could you sit next to this person on a flight to India? If the answer is no, we wouldn’t hire them, company culture is so important for any startup and we want to foster a working environment where people love what they do and who they work with.
- Finally, we look at a candidate’s strengths and ask whether they can bring those qualities and resilience to ShipBob? Our most successful employees demonstrate these traits in their personal and professional lives.
We’ve kept these questions at the heart of hiring in the US and as we built out our team in Europe, it’s brought some amazing talent into the business and is a huge contributor to our rapid growth.
- What would you say has been your biggest marketing success
Our biggest success to date is becoming synonymous with ‘ecommerce fulfilment’ in the US. Now, our attention is firmly focused on turning ShipBob into a global brand and providing world-class fulfilment to SMEs around the world.
- What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made
Not coming to EMEA sooner! The UK has one of the most sophisticated ecommerce markets in the world and we can’t wait to start building the business here and across Europe. The success of ShipBob in the US has meant we can now enter international markets and we’ll be using the UK market as a launchpad to bring ShipBob across the Atlantic.
- Tell us about your plans for the future
Our main focus will be on building the company’s UK operations to at least 5 ecommerce fulfilment centres in 2022 with Poland also launching early next year. By 2023, the company intends to have 20 fulfilment centres across Europe and create 300 permanent jobs in the UK and another 200 across Europe.
Alongside enhancing domestic deliveries, ShipBob will be offering British brands instant access to consumers across the North American market and the ability to ship to US shoppers within days. We will also provide brands with peace of mind against supply chain challenges by offering instant access to our network of popular national and international carrier partners, this ensures that products can always be delivered to a consumer’s door.