In the face of Covid-19, there’s a shift in consumer buying behaviour.
The fashion industry is faced with uncertainties, but to Jeremiah Hui, founder of Heard by Odbo and director of Odbo online, new opportunities arise as online shopping becomes the new norm. He shares with us how he adapts to the new era of fashion e-commerce.
Name: Jeremiah Hui
Profession: Founder of Heard Odbo and Cirector of Odbo online
Industry: Fashion retail, e-commerce
Startup since: 2019
Company size: 22 people
Tell us about your business. What do you do?
Odbo started in 1999 as a black and white only fashion brand and it has grown considerably — we now have established over 200 stores across China. In 2019 I founded Heard — a sub-line of Odbo featuring all the basics at a more accessible price point.
As the director of online strategies and e-commerce at Odbo, I focus on growing and operating various online platforms, executing marketing strategies, drive new initiatives such as new clothing lines, supply chains and collaborations.
Tell me about your best day at work?
The best days would be hitting the target and achieving a 7-digit sales around Nov 11 — the biggest day in Chinese e-commerce space. Seeing a steep increase in online sales certainly makes my day.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I try to spend time with my family as often as possible. I am a father of a lovely boy and I cherish every second of spending time with him, and, of course, my lovely wife, parents and friends. Otherwise i try to hit the gym in between meetings.
What is a normal work day like?
While e-commerce is fast-paced and unpredictable, it is difficult to describe what a normal day is like. One day I could be on developing products, some days i could be working on marketing campaigns, photoshoots and sourcing, the list goes on. One thing for sure is I always start the day with a cup of black coffee.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start up?
Be goal-orientated and focus on what really matters.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you do now?
I would probably be working in a hedge fund — i love the results-driven nature of that.
As a child, what did you aspire to be?
I definitely come from a family that is very entrepreneurial in spirit. My parents founded odbo together back in 1999, and being able to witness that forms the foundation of who I am now. As a child I aspire to be like my parents — building a business together with my loved ones and creating a better life for my family.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
With the rise of online shopping, we have to pivot from physical retail store to a digital one. Managing my team’s expectation and goals can be challenging. It’s unproductive to have a team that is not goal-aligned.
How did you overcome it?
We have to adapt to changes quickly in order to thrive in the long run. Aligning the team with the same vision and setting the right goals really forms the bond. I try to be a leader that inspire actions.
Why are Hong Kong and China important market for you?
Hong Kong has always been a forefront for fashion and brand presence in China. Hong Kong held its peak as that in the 80s and 90s through movies, songs and pop-culture, and has great influence on China, especially in southern provinces. Having a foot in Hong kong is a gateway to international presence.
How hands-on are you?
I am totally hands-on — from creating campaigns to marketing, sourcing to photoshoots, I try to be involved in every stage of the consumer path. Being able to decide on the little details is cumbersome but worth it.
What’s next for Heard?
Heard’s heading into a growing stage. We will be expanding the team to meet our goals and become a brand that finds its own space in the hearts of those who had “heard” us.
This story first appeared in Prestige Hong Kong.
(All images: Jeremiah Hui/Odbo)