- Reapra is currently on the lookout for Malaysian startups and businesses to add to their portfolio and to join their mentorship program B80P. If you’re interested, you can check out their website here. Read more about what they do here.
- You can also meet the Reapra team in person and hear from them on September 19, 2–5:30pm in Common Ground Bukit Bintang, where they will be part of a special sharing session on “Pivot To Profit”. Find out more details here.
When Giden Lim launched his online flower business in 2015, he already knew his key focus: to put the customer first in everything that the business does.
Now, 4 years in, he told us that this still hasn’t changed.
However, growth does mean that you can’t always keep doing things the same way as you did, back in the “good ol’ days”.
“Through the years, we learnt that what works initially, might not necessarily work at scale. Operationally, it can get very complex and when the business grows it becomes more challenging to keep up with our high standards of customer experience standards,” shared Giden.
At BloomThis, Giden and his co-founder Penny have seen the business go through multiple reinventions. After all, their original concept was an online subscription model, where you paid a certain fee to have flowers delivered weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Today, BloomThis does a lot more, with on-demand flowers, same day deliveries, and packages for events and occasions—but yes, they still do subscriptions.
At the moment, BloomThis delivers more than a hundred orders a day, a far cry from their 100 to 120 orders a week back in 2015.
Giden credits a heavy leverage of technology as one of the reasons why they were able to adapt and expand as times changed.
But knowing that technology exists and using it right are not something that they came up with right off the bat.
Making The Right Start
One early building brick that Giden has used to stabilise his company’s growth is the Foundation Design.
He described it as a process where they worked on understanding the company’s core characteristics and values. Next, they set short-term and long-term goals for the founders and the company.
“Looking back, this has helped revisit what we have set for ourselves to do from time to time. It’s important to see if we are still aligned, to realise what’s changed and needs to be done, to remind ourselves of the reason and the ‘why’ we do what we do,” he said.
The BloomThis duo actually learnt about the Foundation Design from Reapra, a venture builder that partners with entrepreneurs with the goal of business sustainability.
“We have been closely working with Reapra for more than a year now,” Giden shared. “They have very generously deployed resources and talents into BloomThis that has helped in areas such as technology, operational excellence and HR. We work closely with a Reapra corporate strategist to identify the business needs, strategise actionable plans and execute these initiatives together.”
Another tool introduced by Reapra that he found very useful is a process called Stretch Operations, which his team uses daily. They designed dashboards and tracking mechanisms to help them monitor their progress.
“It’s important to know how we defined success and how are we going to achieve that,” he said.
“Reapra focuses a lot in building a sustainable business and creating value. Operational excellence is also a core competency a company needs to have to be successful. We have been focused on these fundamentals to build our growth on.”
Where The Heart Blooms Best
If you take a look at how BloomThis has matured and evolved, you’d think that this is what Giden celebrates as his greatest triumph. Not so.
“Building a great team that is able to grow with BloomThis through thick and thin is our biggest success,” he said.
“Today, BloomThis will never be where we are if it wasn’t for the great people behind the brand, fighting day and night especially when things are difficult and always upholding our mission to create moments of happiness for our customers. We are a team of people that are passionate about what we do and we want to do it better everyday.”
And they are preparing themselves for a boom in our local and regional entrepreneurial startup scene.
“We are still at the very beginning of an ecosystem that will bring about massive impact and change to the country and beyond,” said Giden. “Southeast Asia is currently in a unique position, where the demand for better customer experience and the need for better solutions to current problems are desperately needed. This has brought about rapid growth in the region.”
He expressed a hope that more ecosystem builders, from government institutions, corporate institutions, to private venture builders, will come into this space and support the entrepreneurs who are risking everything to make a difference.
As for BloomThis itself, Giden said, “A lot of what we do happens at the backend to ensure our customers get the perfect experience when they send or receive flowers. We will continue to work relentlessly to fix some of the industry problems in order to translate these benefits back to our customers and partners.”