MANILA, Philippines — During The Future of Philippine Retail & eCommerce session at the Philippine Startup Week 2021 we met Archit Anand, founder of Omnirio. While the country’s startup ecosystem ranks among the top 100, interestingly there were also some who aren’t exactly from the Philippines, and we would love to know why and how they are helping create an even stronger Philippines.
Omnirio, among top 100 startups in the Philippines, founder Archit Anad was born in India on a middle-class family. Having to work, his family had to move 10 to 15 different cities and he transferred 5 to 10 schools. With India’s vast and diverse language, culture, and customs, Archit found himself struggling throughout his younger years. In his uni days took up a degree and became a Software Engineer. For 2 to 3 years, he practiced and at age 24 realized he wouldn’t want to be writing codes 10 years after. Also, a fan of sport, he thought of doing it but was struck that he cannot enter Olympics anymore because of age restriction. It was at that moment he thought of venturing into business.
Anand went to Singapore where he took his MBA in Marketing. While learning, travelling the world having been to Singapore, Sydney, and Dubai, he noticed there’s one thing successful people share, it’s that they’re in sales. He told himself, “I should be in sales. I should learn how to do sales.” This gave birth to Omnirio.
Omnirio, a tech startup that helps companies scale through omnichannel commerce was first founded in Singapore. It was in 2016 that he started noticing how omnichannel will be the future of commerce. Contrary to what everyone may think that traditional commerce is dying and the even more hastened already fast-paced paradigm shift to digital commerce will be future, he stood firm that omnichannel will prevail.
On an interview he said, “Ironically, [Jeff] Bezos, who is a major driver of the world’s digitization, is investing and buying more offline stores. This tells us that even he sees omnichannel is the future.” He thought to himself, if Jeff Bezos thought omnichannel commerce is best, why not do it too? He said, “I look in the market, what the players were doing, and it was a very divided market. There was software for offline retail, for ecommerce and online retail only. So, we wanted to be the first one in the industry to come in with an omnichannel experience so when the market is ready, we’re the number 1 already, and everyone goes to us. I established Omnirio for long-term play, never looked at it short-term.”
When asked why the Philippines, he said that when he was assessing Southeast Asia, it was Philippines, like Singapore and Vietnam, had a great chance of growing. He said that with the country’s population and high internet penetration, the country has all the right ingredients to grow a competitive market. Additionally, according to Anand, all others are already looking at Singapore and Vietnam, failing to recognize the potential of the Philippines, and if that he’d rather look into the Philippines more.
It was also on the same interview that Archit revealed it was in the Philippines where he found his first client— The SSI Group. From his words, he thought it was only strategic to start in the Philippines since his clients are here. Not foregoing of the country’s great potential, he then moved and was based in Manila from February of 2019. Currently, he is based in India due to the Pandemic.
With everything said thus far, Anand is surely helping build a Philippine market that’s a lot more competitive. He plans on democratizing grade 1 technology that far more advanced countries are using in the Philippines for a fraction of their cost. “Once they experience it and create more traction, they would soon be able to recognize that we are also a business and we need to pay our staff to, and they would be very willing to pay.” He also said that Omnirio’s global growth will soon help businesses in the Philippines reach consumers, and partners in that part of the world too.
With great vision for Omnirio, the Philippines, and commerce, he ended and said, “For others, the definition of a unicorn might be different. Unicorn for me is not just having a valuation of a billion dollars; if you can change a billion lives, then you’re a unicorn for me.”
adobo magazine is an official media partner of Philippine Startup Week 2021