Minesh Pore has used his global trade expertise to create a ‘dating’ agency where buyers can meet suppliers and BuyHive does the crucial bits in the middle.
What’s your story?
BuyHive wanted to solve the problem of trust and transparency in sourcing to improve buyers’ outcomes, especially with the assumptions that the growing segment of small and medium size retailers need more help because they lack sourcing experience and resources and, in future, that fewer people are going to travel around the world for sourcing which increases the risks of choosing the wrong supplier and getting the wrong product. Initially we wanted to fill the market gap by providing a network of sourcing experts who would work on a project basis to help buyers make informed sourcing decisions, so the buyers could focus on the core activity of retail sales. And we expanded that offering to include an online sourcing platform where buyers can order products from suppliers and BuyHive ensures that orders meet buyers’ expectation
What excites you most about your industry?
The sourcing industry has been majorly disrupted by COVID-19 and also the ongoing shift from brick-and mortar stores to online marketplaces. This increases the pitfalls for retail buyers trying to source goods internationally. BuyHive aims to provide trust and transparency to the sourcing industry by providing a trusted marketplace for trade, where BuyHive takes full accountability on behalf of the buyer and provides a network of freelance sourcing experts for hire, which can help buyers make informed buying decisions.
What is your connection to Asia?
I was born in India and have worked in Taiwan, HK, China for about 12 years
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Taipei, as the standard of living is high, education of workforce is above average, integrity and work ethics of staff are very easy to find, while the cost of workforce is relatively lower
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Change is the only constant in life.
Who inspires you?
There is nobody specific whom I am inspired by, I feel different people, from children to a successful business(wo)men, all offer inspiration at different levels.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
2020 has been an eye-opener in multiple ways, I personally have been blown away with all the innovations that have happened during the lockdowns and the growth of online education platforms, eCommerce marketplaces, and video conferencing solutions has been amazing to see.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Leave my corporate job about 5 years earlier to start my own company.
How do you unwind?
With friends and family, traveling when the world was pandemic free, and cooking.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan – love the food, the people and the natural beauty, also love some of the less known islands of Thailand.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Traction – By Gino Wickman, Straight Talk for Startups – by Randy Komisar, The Startup J Curve – by Howard Love, Hard Thing about Hard Things – by Ben Horowitz
Shameless plug for your business:
There is no sourcing expert network that can provide the sourcing expertise that we aim to provide, also no B2B platforms today take accountability and responsibility for the trade, they are advertising platforms biased towards suppliers and facilitate matchmaking, thus not completely reliable for bigger buying decisions. BuyHive aims to provide trust and transparency in the trade, which is why we have tied up with Intertek to do testing and inspection of the products and have tied up with Dun & Bradstreet to provide financial due diligence on the suppliers.
The BuyHive sourcing platform consists of two solutions:
1. Freelancer Assisted Sourcing – Buyers come to our platform to look for sourcing experts and provide their detailed sourcing requirements, then BuyHive will match the buyer with a relevant sourcing expert, who has deep product knowledge based on years of experience in sourcing. The assigned freelancer (or Bee) will then work on collecting the necessary product and supplier information and upload it onto BuyHive’s platform, where it goes through QC and is converted into a sourcing report for the buyer to download. Buyers pay the Bees on a project basis, and will rate the quality of their Bee’s work, thus making sure that Bees are incentivized to get good ratings and get more jobs.
2. eCommerce platform – Suppliers found by our freelancer network are further vetted by the BuyHive team and those that meet our standards are invited to join our eCommerce platform — they cannot pay to join or rank higher on the platform. Buyers can use the platform to find and order products in bulk, and buy testing / inspection services, logistics services, trade finance solutions, insurance etc., and are able to do financial due diligence as well. Once the order is placed and paid for by credit card, ACH transfer, or offline methods. BuyHive takes accountability for the order and works with suppliers to make sure products are delivered as per the platform commitment. And for larger or more complex orders, BuyHive can manage the entire project for the buyer — from production to delivery.
How can people connect with you?
Through my Linkedin, https://www.linkedin.com/in/buyhiveminesh.
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.