Founder Spotlight: Nes Jularbal & Wilson Bumanlag of SparePartsAsia
Efficiency Through Integration: Delivery Services Made Easier By Spareparts
By Glacer Barnett
Jularbal is the CEO of SparePartsAsia, an E-commecde
platform that will serve as the one-stop shop for forklift spare parts in Asia.
In the past 10 years, more than 6 million forklifts were delivered worldwide and more than 51% are located in Asia. That translates to a USD3Billion forklift spare parts market in Asia alone. The market is huge. HoweverWhen it comes to tech, there is a myriad of problems with the delivery business here in the Philippines. First, there are too many unique parts for distribution; no dealer could possibly carry it all in one go. There is a problem concerning unavailable parts, and another concerning the presence of fake, or low-quality tools. Lastly, the origins of some parts are difficult to locate because dealers don’t catalogue items.
Spareparts aspires to solve these problems by integrating with FedEx. So, if a customer goes on the site and places an order, a member will go to FedEx to process it. Furthermore, such deliveries here in the Philippines usually take 2-3 weeks to complete, but with Spareparts, the time is reduced to a mere 3-5 days. On the website, there is a shipping and payment system that eliminates the need for parties to go back and forth over information details, rendering a one-stop shop process. With all its features, Spareparts brands itself as trustworthy, quick, and efficient.
The idea of Spareparts first began when Jojy Azurin, Nes’ good friend and Spareparts’ initial founder and business development director, invited Nes to handle the marketing involved for the product. Being a newly retired man with all the free time in the world, Nes agreed to take part. His experience as a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive knowledge in project managing and business consulting guaranteed he was fit for the position.
After joining, he met Nicholas Gan, Spareparts’ current marketing director. And eventually, Wilson Bumanlag, the engineering head, was invited to join the company as well. With Nes wanting to try something new, Jojy being really into startups, and Nicholas wanting his inventory to move at a faster pace, a great team was formed despite the members’ unique reasons for coming along. Their team made them confident of the output they are to produce.
The contrasting lifestyle of an entrepreneur for a seasoned corporate man
A few months after its official launch, Nes describes how Spareparts created a big change in the lifestyle he was familiar with.
Initially, he was a man involved in different kinds of production. Nes used to be in banking, as the head of operations. Suffice to say, the experience provided him a solid background in finance. After that, Nes went on to the food and drink business, office equipment production, and insurance industry. He was usually able to show his expertise in sales and operations. The last position he had before working in Spareparts was in Accenture, a global professional company providing strategy, consulting, and operational and digital services.
To Nes, the experience was enjoyable. But with a mindset of wanting to do everything on his own, independent from catering to the specific demands of others and his environment, he sought to break away from his previous profession. He then chose to make his way into the startup community.
Having been involved in the corporate world for so long, Nes talked about how he now has more free time for leisure. He shared how he used to be too busy for his children, and so now, he feels like he is making up for all the lost time by becoming a better grandfather through cherishing his grandchildren.
“Focus and commitment” are, in Nes’ point of view, the best qualities an entrepreneur could ever have. For him, it was important that we don’t let ourselves get distracted by small details or side activities. Also, spending too much time worrying over failure is futile; there is no perfect guarantee and it is only natural for people to learn from mistakes. Nes pointed out that adjusting to bumps along the way would give us personal growth. Additionally, when it comes to focus, it would not be wise for us to bite more than what we could chew.
Somebody once asked Nes, “Why not look to automotive startups while you’re at it?” Well, he believed that it would be better to give your all just one thing at a time; proceed to another activity once you’ve perfected the current one.
When Nes first got into sales and marketing, he had a mentor who once told him that when one decides to sell a product, he should come to view it as something similar to pitching a construction drill. To people, you are not selling the drill. You are selling the hole it creates. The customer wanting to make a hole in a specific size, but lacking the means to achieve it, is what entrepreneurs want to solve.
The decision of support from a foreign country
Nes observed that entrepreneurs from the Philippines and Malaysia have more or less the same situation when it comes to startups. Companies from either country may have a product that they believe is going to work, but the process to build their startup would rely on the kind of government treatment they receive. And this is where the stark contrast distinguishes the Philippines’ situation from Malaysia’s.
The Philippine government has a lot of catching up to do in terms of startup development. There is no access to funds, and so as a result, there are far less risk-takers. Meanwhile, Malaysia has a lot of big companies that are willing to provide assistance to startups, even at a free price. Due to the lack of government support the Philippines has for startups, Spareparts plans to have itself registered in Malaysia, a country with a more developed awareness for the startup community.
With such a business move, it looks like Spareparts is set. Let’s look forward to the company’s bright path ahead.