Coming from a finance background in the US, Mark Brunjes arrived in Hong Kong in 2011 to head up a bank’s Asia-Pacific trading department. After staying in the industry for almost a decade, he had an itch to use his creative side to build smaller businesses. This led to him joining Market Force Asia, a distribution company selling liquor in the travel retail sector, where he then founded a few smaller companies with his business partners to capitalise on opportunities in consumer goods.
Following the slump in business due to the pandemic, the team reinvested in sanitisers, but the persisting dismal market conditions eventually led to the formation of e-commerce retail company Green Ocean Labs, which focuses on sustainable products. With the digital world growing exponentially, Brunjes and his team are now employing the latest web3 technology to transition their business into this new space.
Starting out, what was your biggest hurdle?
With each transition, the scariest part at first was having to learn new skills and protocols for new industries. Going from being extremely competent in a comfortable space to having little understanding in a brand-new area is daunting. But over the years I’ve realised this is where all the fun is for me: I love creating and I realised that in order to create something new, there must be some learning involved.
What are you doing that’s different, and how do you hope to shake up the industry?
At Green Ocean Labs, our plan is to use the latest technology to change the current model used for e-commerce. For products to be seen by a wide audience, they need to be on page one of whichever marketplace they’re listed on: this is where intense marketing budget is most likely needed.
Our new business model takes advantage of the community building aspect of NFTs and allows us to integrate a highly involved and captured audience to purchase our products, significantly reducing marketing costs and, at the same time, assuring the sales needed to rank well. This new model creates space for tailored feedback on product design and allows us to create products we know will sell, rather than products we hope will sell. Community involvement is also integral for us to be able to pass back royalties from product sales to our community, so that they can earn passive income from the success of our business.
What would you like to achieve in the near future?
We’re currently about to start a capital raise for our web3 buildout and hope to finalise this within the next few months.
“Our plan is to use the latest technology to change the model used for e-commerce”