Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Zhou.
Alex, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and raised in the beautiful harbor city of Dalian, China, I came to the U.S. to attend Kansas State University in 2007, earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 2011. In Kansas, it was almost impossible to find a decent Asian grocery store.
Sometimes when I felt homesick and couldn’t stop thinking about the delicious Chinese food and snacks at home, I drove for two hours to shop at the best Chinese grocery store I could find.
After graduation, I moved to Los Angeles and was astonished by how convenient life in LA was compared to Kansas. It occurred to me that there was a great opportunity to establish an e-commerce company for those who have little or no access to Asian goods in the U.S. So in 2013 I founded Yamibuy.com to address this underserved consumer need. At the company’s inception, I was a one-man army working on every task, from placing overseas orders to packaging to customer service. I developed a thick skin, because suppliers would often hang up on me when I called them directly. But persistence paid off in the long run, and slowly but surely my business began to take shape. Slow initial growth snowballed into big growth and things really started to take off. As of today, headquartered in the City of Industry, Yamibuy has more than 300 employees and a 200,000 square-foot warehouse with a house-built, automated logistics system.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If you choose to start your own business, congratulations, you are taking a road that is never going to be smooth. You’ll be faced with all kinds of problems, obstacles and challenges. However, I find it quite amazing that I cannot name any special one that bothered me the most. Bumps in the road seem to fade with time, eclipsed by the high points – the achievements and milestones earned along the way to building a successful business.
I spend every day finding problems and solving them, and this is a crucial part of my work and my life. As Yamibuy grew rapidly, we found that sometimes our supply chain failed to keep up with our increasing orders, or that my management experience failed to keep up with the size of our team. But these challenges were all manageable. In fact, I believe how you confront these challenges is what differentiates you from your competitors. If you successfully solved nine problems out of ten while your competitor only solved one, you won.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yamibuy – what should we know?
Yamibuy is the industry’s leading e-commerce site to purchase the best Asian snacks, beauty products, health supplements and home appliances. In other words, we are your online Asian grocery store that delivers to your door. We are known for bringing the best Asian products and brands to the United States.
I am proud to say that as a company, we are filling an important customer need, and making their lives much more convenient in the process. For example, if you just immigrated from Shanghai to Santa Monica, you don’t speak English, nor can you drive, what should you do when you feel homesick? Go click several buttons on Yamibuy, and we’ll deliver the goodies to you the next day.
This is also what sets us apart from others: we did not create these consumer demands, we simply identified a massive customer need and used a modern e-commerce platform to address this customer demand.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
It goes without saying that Los Angeles is a paradise for entrepreneurs. For me, I am happy that I chose to start Yamibuy in LA.
The West Coast is not only famous for Snoop Dogg, but is also well known for the booming technology industry, especially in Northern California. However, starting your business in the Bay Area can be very expensive. Plus, the competition there is more than fierce. That is one of the reasons why we have embraced the Silicon Beach here in LA.
Our business has a lot to do with international trade and shipping – goods are shipped from China, Japan and Korea. Los Angeles has one of the largest ports in the world, which is of great convenience to any international trading company.
Moreover, the unparalleled tolerance and diversity of LA has turned the city into an international party. With so many different people from so many different places, LA has made it easy for us to hire international talent with a diverse, interesting background.
Last but not least, LA has the largest Asian/Chinese American community in the US, which is the core of Yamibuy’s target customer base. This really benefitted us a lot when we first started. We still serve primarily Asian Americans, but we’re quickly growing our following in mainstream America as we build brand awareness among many different cultures and ethnicities.
If I had to name one thing that our city can improve, it’s the traffic. And this is yet another reason Yamibuy is great for customers – no need to fight traffic, simply shop www.yamibuy.com and let us bring the goods to you!
- Address: 280 Machlin Ct, City of Industry, CA 91789
- Website: http://www.yamibuy.com
- Phone: (909) 348-0620
- Email: email@example.com