Wendy Liu: An Ambitious Entrepreneur, Empowering ezbuy with Sheer Efforts

At 17, her mother sent her to Singapore from her home country for higher studies. She matched the change, learned a lot from the close-knit circle of people, took efforts, and eventually Co-founded the leading e-commerce marketplace—ezbuy which was later acquired by LightIntheBox in Dec 2018. She is Wendy Liu, who was once a little girl thinking of achieving her ambitions. Wendy is a live example of a women entrepreneur, who successfully conquered the obstacles of region and culture on her way to becoming a successful businesswoman.

Since her young age, Wendy was proficient in mathematics and computing related subjects and therefore, she chose engineering field and enrolled additional business-related modules. Singapore is known for its versatile education system as the academic institutions offer many interdisciplinary subjects to assist students to explore different kinds of fields. Therefore, Wendy’s young adult years of studying and growing at Singapore shaped her entrepreneurial thinking and pushed her to drive towards becoming an entrepreneur.

Wendy obtained first-class Honours in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with a minor in Business at the Nanyang Technological University. In addition, the nurturing business environment of Singapore led Wendy to expand her view and think in a global perspective while considering the wide range of industries across the world. Speaking of her experience at Singapore, Wendy states, “Singapore has not only given me a great academic start to adulthood but demonstrated that with its globalisation approach, is definitely one of the best places in the world to start a fast growing business.” Today, Wendy is proud to be at Singapore because in China, the education system was rigid and students had no such facilities to pursue various subjects simultaneously. She believes that if she hadn’t left her home country, she would have never dreamed of founding a rapid scaling start-up and a popular e-commerce site.

Changing the Dream into Reality while Tackling Challenges

Further, on her expedition to establish a meaningful business, Wendy visited China. During her visit, she realized the immensely growing consumer goods market where mass production had significantly reduced the overall cost of products. That concept to offer products at a value for money price tag booted an idea beneath Wendy to establish a marketplace which will enable customers from Singapore to shop globally at an affordable price tag. Thus in 2010, along with three close friends, Wendy started ezbuy.

It was a time when consumers had to open a big desktop computer to shop online. Sharing her initial days, the CFO of ezbuy—Wendy asserts, “I remembered a time when we had to deliver parcels to customers on our own and how underdeveloped the local market was. When my friends and I started this business we had to do everything on our own. There wasn’t even an online credit card payment system in Singapore; we had to accept bank transfers!” Her statement clearly mentions the absence of fast digital technologies and facilities, but Wendy and team continually enhanced their offerings and launched an online shopping app of ezbuy in 2012.

Succeeding Globally with Partnerships and Developments

Today, ezbuy has become one of the largest Singapore-based global online shopping platforms. Soon, the platform turned out to be one of the popular traffic volume leaders in cross-border e-commerce in Southeast Asia. In 2016, the online marketplace was 9th top searched term in Singapore according to Google’s Year in Search ranking and since then, it continuously ranked top in Google domestic search engine results. Two years ago, the company was rebranded from a third-party proxy platform and shipping company to a direct marketplace.

According to Wendy, it was the best strategic move as it helped the company to reach sellers and buyers globally. Therefore, buyers from Singapore can now purchase items directly from online stores of China, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the US. Likewise, they have access to millions of products worldwide at least itemized cost. They also keep coordination with sellers and strive to onboard them as their working partners and join them to sell directly to the local consumers. Additionally, Wendy and her team at ezbuy try to offer the best products across different product categories at value for money price. Wendy shares, “Our customers and our employees mold our success and make us who we are today.”

“Having a great idea is critical but..,” says Wendy

At present, ezbuy is operating together with LightInTheBox and sharing the supplier resources too. LightIntheBox is the first cross-border e-commerce listed in the US stock market. Wendy and her team are presently focused on their customers and are working to help make their lives better with the ezbuy platform. Her leadership and efforts of her fellow team members were significantly high since the establishment of the company.

When asked about her thoughts on women’s leadership in the APAC countries, Wendy shares, “I don’t think that leadership is and should be any different for women. To succeed, there must be hunger and the desire to want to start something and see it through. Having a great idea is critical but believing in its merits is the key to becoming a successful start-up founder.” According to her personal entrepreneurial experience in Singapore, the government of Singapore is very supportive of start-ups and SMEs. Thus, Wendy advises aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of tax breaks and other facilities in the early years of the business. Currently, Wendy and the team are successfully growing their business with new partnerships, developments, and support from the business-friendly environment of Singapore.

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West has been driving the business world owing to its developed economies. The leading part of the world is straining to sustain its dominance. However, the other parts of the world, especially Asia Pacific region have been displaying escalating growth in terms of business and technological advancements.

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