Coupang, the NASDAQ-listed e-commerce company from South Korea, is actively recruiting talents in Singapore. This is a clear sign that the firm is expanding to Singapore or even the Southeast Asia region. At the time…
Bom Kim is a Korean-American Billionaire businessman who founded Korea’s largest e-commerce company, Coupang. With Coupang valued at $9 billion in 2018, Kim has become the 2nd youngest billionaire in Korea at the age of 40.
Kim was born in Seoul but left Korea at the age of 7. At age 13, he went to boarding school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He later attended Harvard Business School but dropped out after only six months, just like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
Kim stayed in the Bay State, working at Boston Consulting Group, before starting a magazine – 02138 in 2006. The magazine ceased publication after 2 years and Kim returned back to his homeland Korea.
Kim founded Coupang in 2010, it started as a Groupon-like website when group-buying was the trend back then. Coupang has then been pivoted to B2C e-commerce site with direct buying (from suppliers) and selling, like Amazon.
Like Amazon, Kim realized the importance of controlling the delivery process by investing on its own end-to-end logistics network. There are 200 warehouses spanning 20 million sq. ft. across Korea, as well as trucks and thousands of delivery drivers. 70% of Koreans live within 10 minutes of a Coupang logistics center, making last-mile delivery easier to achieve.
In 2019, Coupang launched Dawn Delivery which guarantees to arrive by 7am for orders placed by midnight the day before.
Customers want the same thing in every market, but the constraints in each market are very different. The way you provide the solutions around those constraints are different too.
For our case, fast delivery like Amazon? Not really. Consumers in Korea have very different lifestyles, they typically work very late.
The average elementary student comes back from school at 10pm. So the typical consumers whether you are working, parents or kids are only at home after 10pm.
We are figuring how to provide fast delivery for people who order during the middle of the night. If you place an order at midnight, you will get it before 7am in the morning.
It is a difficult constraint for us to work around. We have really customized our solutions around the constraints in the market to fulfill universal needs.
We built something that’s really unique and that’s what is behind our growth.
In 2020, Coupang delivers 3.3 million items each day, 99.3% of orders placed on its site are delivered within one day.
In just 10 years, Coupang has become the most popular online retailer in Korea, thanks to its fast delivery options. Coupang is valued at $9 billion and has drawn $3.4 billion in VC funding to date by SoftBank, BlackRock, Sequoia Capital and Fidelity.
With its app downloaded by half of all Koreans, it rhymes with the company’s slogan – “How did we ever live without Coupang?”
We make a 100% delivery to the door – a 100%. What takes you to the next level is, do not settle. It is because the customers will not settle.
Challenge yourself and ask, how can you let the customers have it all? Because if the customers can have it all, they can’t live without you.