Tell us about you, how you Joined Lalamove?
Blake Larson: I joined Lalamove over six years ago and I’m currently the Managing Director of International, driving the expansion efforts of the company. I came on board within the first year of the company being founded and I’m proud to have seen such rapid and successful growth.
Prior to Lalamove, I spent my career leading teams and overseeing operations during periods of exponential growth for both Fortune 500 companies and tech start-ups across four continents.
How does Lalamove Create Innovative Solutions for SMEs?
Blake Larson: Technology has helped automate the delivery process. The Lalamove app makes it much easier for businesses of all sizes to deliver items of any shape and size, at any time they want. The schedule of the logistics company no longer restricts them. The vast amount of real-time data and intelligence generated through technology can provide companies with insights to improve processes or invest more in areas that need it. For instance, we’re able to track our fleet of drivers, allowing us to manage deliveries more efficiently and intelligently, ensuring they reach their destination on time. We’re also able to anticipate consumer needs based on historical data.
For many SMEs, building up and maintaining an in-house delivery fleet is just too costly and often proves too inflexible. A platform like Lalamove really puts the power back into the hands of the SME to better manage and control their deliveries; whether that be transporting stock from warehouses to retail outlets, delivering goods to end-consumers or during particularly busy holiday and seasonal periods.
How has the Coronavirus affected Lalamove?
Blake Larson: The effects of coronavirus have been widespread and have had an impact almost every industry, including logistics. Lalamove has worked very closely with customers to help them with their delivery needs during this difficult time. Many small businesses turn to online sales, perhaps for the very first time and getting delivery right is a major task. We’ve witnessed big increases in first-time users in many of our markets as these businesses try to cope with these new circumstances. Having an on-demand and reliable delivery partner all within one app is a real tool of empowerment for these small businesses.
It was early on during the pandemic that we realized as a business just how important a flexible delivery service was proving to be in communities that were under varying degrees of lockdown. In response to the demand from NGOs and organisations supplying essential goods like food, medical and personal protection equipment, Lalamove launched its very first CSR initiative called Deliver Care. We helped NGOs across our markets in Asia deliver essential goods to communities in need, including underprivileged families, hospitals and care centers. You can watch a short video of our first Deliver Care activities here.
We’re looking forward to further expanding our Deliver Care CSR initiative to empower our communities, including our driver-partners and employees around the world.
What Lessons have you Learned?
Blake Larson: As a company, we have learned just how important it is to be flexible and to have the mindset of being willing to adapt at a moment’s notice. Our teams across our markets were all facing new and unprecedented challenges each day as the pandemic uprooted economies.
But through it all, we kept focused on providing the best possible service that we could to the thousands upon thousands of users that rely on us daily. From helping new customers learn about our product, to train new drivers and ensure they remain safe and healthy, our teams responded magnificently to the challenges. It reiterated the importance of teamwork and being passionate about what you’re doing. At Lalamove, we have four company values; passion, grit, humility and execution. This year, I think we’ve all had to display those key values more than ever before.
I’ve learned from seeing many of our SME clients adapt to these challenging times and pivoting their businesses so quickly that if you have reliable business partners or service providers then change can happen quicker than you might have previously thought possible.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself and Lalamove to the Future?
Blake Larson: A certain degree of stress or anxiety is a part of the job when you’re involved in an industry like Lalamove, where it can be very fast-paced and projects are delivered from conception to completion in a short period. That being said, Lalamove fosters a collaborative environment that brings multiple teams together to work towards the same goal – to make delivery fast and simple for everyone. So whether we’re working on the expansion plan for a new market or looking to increase efficiency in an existing city, I can always rely on the talents and input of a truly diverse team that has been established over the years.
Every month we help facilitate the delivery of millions of orders for our users around the world. And we’re moving full steam ahead to empower millions of more customers over the next few years to make local delivery as simple as opening an app.
Who are your Competitors? How do you plan to Stay in the Game?
Blake Larson: Our competitors come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from traditional logistics businesses and other similar tech players. We view that as only a good thing as it indicates that the demand for an on-demand digital delivery service is strong. We certainly see one of the key reasons we’ve grown as a company is because we understand and support our SME customers. By outsourcing their deliveries with us, we become an extension of their company. We take that responsibility very seriously and ensure that we’re a reliable business partner that can be depended on. We prioritise customer satisfaction and, to that end, have customer service teams supporting all our cities to ensure that we can provide local support to our users.
On the other hand, our delivery partners are an integral part of our business. To show our appreciation, we have initiatives such as insurance schemes, petrol rebates and “Star Driver” nights where they get treated to food and entertainment.
Of course, with technology at our core, we are continuously investing in our app to ensure that the experience for both our customers and driver partners is as seamless and intuitive as possible.
It’s our vision as a company to become synonymous with local delivery around the world. To make that vision become a reality, we will continue to expand our presence in new and existing markets. By the end of 2020, we will have launched operations in the United States and we’ve got a lot more exciting things in the pipeline too, so watch this space!
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