E-commerce titans raise a toast at Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards

E-commerce titans raise a toast at Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards

If a booming online marketplace already exists, why bother building a new one from scratch? 

It is a view the likes of Ruslan Kogan would probably disagree with, but for Fung Lam and Werner Liu this mentality sparked Australia's biggest e-commerce player that few have ever heard of.

The pair took out the top prize at tonight's Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards 2019 at Cargo Hall, the second ever of its kind hosted in the Victorian capital by Business News Australia

It was a hotly contested event between business founders with niches ranging from sports technology to freight forwarding, medicinal cannabis to fashion brands, disability services to app development, vitamin tea to corporate hampers. 

Now in business for almost 15 years, Lam and Werner's New Aim has built a veritable e-commerce empire trading as ozplaza.living - the country's biggest seller on eBay, Amazon, Catch, Kogan, MyDeal and Temple & Webster.

"Now it's more than 20 per cent of households that already receive our items. No one knows that," says Lam, who along with Liu now follows in the footsteps of last year's winner Travis Erridge of TM Insight.

Ozplaza.living is just one piece of the New Aim puzzle which also includes Dropshipzone, Australia's largest dropshipper supplying products to hundreds of online sellers while also providing  administrative and logistics support.

"A key point that separates us from many of our competitors is our capability to offer our customers a range of bulky items, which we are known for," says Lam.

"This includes mattresses, bed frames, bar stools, outdoor furniture, ride-on cars and fitness equipment."

He says these types of goods tend to slow down warehouse operations and are costly to handle, but New Aim is able to take on the challenge thanks to its great team and bargaining power with couriers.

"Our bargaining power comes from the sheer volume of products we distribute every year as well as our great long-standing relationship with our couriers," he says.

"A few unrevealed retail giants from different product categories have expressed their interest in cooperating with New Aim, and some of them are moving on board."

"New Aim is open to sharing their online retail experience and to provide consultation to these offline retail partners, so as to assist them to maximise their success in merging online and offline retail."

Choosing who would win each category, let alone the overall winner, was extremely difficult for the judges this year according to Young Entrepreneur Awards founder Camilla Jansen.

"The quality of the entrepreneurs was just outstanding in Melbourne. The level of competition was so high, and for us it is a real privilege to be able to host such an initiative and get to know the fascinating stories of these young business leaders," she says.

"Melbourne is the creative and cultural capital of Australia - we had an amazing number of consumer e-commerce-facing entrepreneurs integrating tech in innovative ways.

"Digital disruption and harnessing new technologies were at the heart of the cohort of young entrepreneurs, scaling up their businesses in traditional fields like the legal sector, marketing and finance."

All winners at the Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards 2019

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Fung Lam and Werner Liu (New Aim)
  • Trailblazer of the Year - Joshua Fegan (Althea Group)
  • Digital Disruptor - John Persico & Johann Odou (Vumero)
  • Fashion Design - Louise Elia (Eliya The Label)
  • Finance - Chris Christofi (Reventon, CHC Planning Solutions)
  • Fitness - Aaron Smith (KX Pilates)
  • Food & Beverage - Julie Hirsch (Universal Village)
  • Health & Medicine - Dr May Chan & Dr Reuben Sim (Dental Boutique)
  • Legal - Jane Garber-Rosenzweig (Gable Lawyers)
  • Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution - Simon Rawadi & Yetta Rawadi (Slyletica)
  • Marketing - Tamara Alaveras & Sonia Majkic (3 Phase Marketing)
  • PR & Media - Genevieve Day (Day Management)
  • Professional Services - Jackson Meyer (Verus Global)
  • Retail & Services - Fung Lam and Werner Liu (New Aim)
  • Social Entrepreneur - Christie Kamphuis & Sam Stone (Bettercup)
  • Specialist Services - Jane Morrell (Carer Solutions Australia)
  • Startup - Ana Gavia (Pinkcolada)
  • Technology - Michael MacRae & Jamie Shostak (Appetiser App Development)
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