Millennials are known as the ‘strawberry generation‘ — they ‘bruise’ easily, meaning they cannot withstand social pressure or work hard like their parents’ generation.
They typically shun ‘unglamorous’ jobs with long working hours and/or tough working conditions, but Jimmy Goh is definitely an exception.
His family actually owns several F&B businesses — a seafood stall at a Bukit Batok wet market, a halal coffeeshop, as well as a few companies operating at Jurong Fishery Port.
At age 24, the Games Design graduate decided to help his ageing parents to run the family business.
He first helped to manage his parents’ coffeeshop and is now running the seafood stall alongside his wife, taking over the reins from his parents six months ago.
Reviving His Parents’ 29-Year-Old Seafood Stall
Called Sin Chwee Mini Market, the stall was opened in 1990 by his parents, which has since grown into a one-stop trade business that imports and exports fresh seafood.
On good days, the store earns a weekly revenue of up to $10,000 but footfall has unfortunately fallen by 20 per cent in the last three years as more people opt to shop at supermarkets and online grocers.
His father was concerned about declining sales and roped in Jimmy’s help to digitise the business so as to remain relevant and sustain the business.
The 28-year-old helped to launch an e-commerce arm of Sin Chwee Mini Market in April to complement the physical store and create a new revenue stream for the business.
Called Tankfully Fresh, it is a platform that allows customers to order fresh seafood online and deliver it to their doorstep the very next day.
On a bigger scale, the second-generation owner hopes the platform can help to better educate the public on the selection of quality seafood.
I realised that many couldn’t tell the quality of seafood, yet are still willing to pay insane dollars for sub-standard seafood.– Jimmy Goh, founder of Tankfully Fresh
As someone who has experience in running a F&B business, Jimmy claims he is adept in identifying the freshness of a fish.
He shared an instance when he tried a $45 fish head curry dish at a restaurant but was appalled at its (lack of) freshness. He suspected that the restaurant had kept the fish head in the freezer for more than two months, but covered it up with a strong-tasting sauce.
However, due to his limited industry experience, Jimmy said that he faced resistance from “some”, who were mainly older generation workers.
They did not fully agree with his choice in shifting the business online and reasoned that although e-commerce is widespread in Singapore, there is not a big enough market that purchases seafood online.
True enough, sales weren’t good from the get-go with only one order every two days so they had to ramp up marketing efforts.
Initially, we approached influencers on social media to help promote our brand but the orders that were brought in was very underwhelming.– Jimmy Goh, founder of Tankfully Fresh
Thankfully, business eventually picked up and many vendors have since approached them to leverage on their online presence and sell on their platform.
Jimmy said that he is definitely open to the idea for Tankfully Fresh to become a one-stop shop that offers products from various stalls in the wet market like chicken and vegetables.
Delivering Fresh Seafood To Your Doorstep
Jimmy understands that the grocery delivery space in Singapore is rather saturated, with players like RedMart, honestbee and FairPrice On battling for a share of the pie.
Regardless, he is confident that he is able to carve out a niche with the unique selling point of bringing fresh catch to customers daily.
At Tankfully Fresh, quality is of utmost importance. Unlike other grocery delivery providers that deliver frozen seafood, they make it a point to only deliver fresh seafood.
In terms of pricing, Jimmy said that online pricing is inevitably higher than buying at physical stores because they need to factor in the packaging, processing, and delivery fees.
He drives down the prices as low as possible to keep it competitive in the online landscape and only marks up the prices by “roughly 10% more”.
Customers can request for the fish to be prepared or cut in specific ways, and choose to get it delivered among three delivery periods — either in the morning, afternoon, or at night.
After closing orders for the day, Jimmy will purchase seafood from Jurong Fishery Port the next morning between 12am and 4am, and personally deliver them to his customers on that very same day.
When asked why he didn’t hire a delivery fleet instead, Jimmy said that third-party couriers have no accountability, which is difficult since timing is crucial in this trade.
Jimmy also uses this delivery opportunity to interact first-hand with his customers, personally thanking them for their orders and sharing with them a little bit more about the business and its services.
For the first month, they earned a sales revenue of about $3,000, which increased by 40% for subsequent months.
They now receive three to four orders in a day, with one order averaging 8 to 10kg worth of fish.
To date, Tankfully Fresh has been reeling in over $30,000 in sales, according to Jimmy.
Beyond helping to improve sales, Tankfully Fresh also helped to “reduce stress to a large extent,” especially in terms of hiring and order management.
Tankfully Fresh allows customers to place their orders in advance so they can effectively plan for purchase and manpower. Since the work is also now no longer manual, they find it easier to hire workers.
It also helps to reduce cost because they only buy what is needed.
Moving forward, Jimmy said that he will continue to find new ways to grow the business and continue the family legacy.
In the near future, Jimmy hopes to “slowly integrate business-to-business services through (its) e-commerce website and have enough resources to open a processing cold room to venture into international market.”
Featured Image Credit: IMDA / FirstCom