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Carousell’s Gaurav Bhasin: Building ASEAN’s Amazon

August 24, 2022

#ecommerce #secondhand #retail

Carousell’s Gaurav Bhasin: Building ASEAN’s Amazon 

Having headed Mudah as CEO, Gaurav Bhasin is now at Singapore-founded ecommerce unicorn Carousell Group as Chief Strategy Officer, helping to map out its growth trajectory in its eight markets in the region. 

Founded in 2012, Carousell’s raison d’etre is to make ‘second hand the first choice’, via its own brands like Carousell, Cho Tot, Laku6,, OneKyat, Ox Street and Refash, backed by investors that include Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, STIC Investments and Sequoia Capital India. 

In this episode, the latest under Do More’s collaboration with Endeavor Malaysia and CGS-CIMB, Gaurav gets candid about the challenges and valuable lessons learnt while growing one of ASEAN’s biggest ecommerce marketplaces. 



00:01:16 - Steering The Ship - Why Second-Hand First? 
00:03:34 - Navigating Ukraine War, Inflation, Market Crash, China Crisis 
00:07:04 - What It Takes to be a Unicorn 
00:08:48 - How To Build Without Money? 
00:11:42 - How Was Mudah.My Monetised? 
00:12:39 - How to Raise Money When Small and Unproven? 
00:16:16 - Should Carousell Move to Singapore? 
00:17:01 - Gaurav’s Failure as an Entrepreneur & The Importance of Being a Cockroach 
00:19:27 - Hiring in a Talent-Thin Environment 
00:21:50 - Gaurav’s Hiring Process  
00:23:29 - Can You Hire From Abroad? 
00:26:55 - What Kind of Diversity Counts? 
00:28:48 - How to Build Culture in a Hyper Growth Environment 
00:31:29 - Why Does Culture Matter? 
00:33:39 - Transferring Culture to New Acquisitions 
00:35:00 - Three Things to Consider When Making New Acquisitions 
00:37:13 - Valuations: Do They Still Matter? 
00:40:45 - How Do You Show 2nd-Hand Stuff is High Quality? 
00:44:29 - Handling Investors When Business is Changing - Fast 
00:46:48 - Path to Profit: the Elephant in the Room 
00:48:09 - How Does ASEAN ECommerce Play Out? 
00:50:08 - Should You Give Up Majority Ownership? 
00:51:52 - Growing Sideways Can Be Cheaper 
00:53:14 - Exit Strategies 
00:54:00 - Three Words of Advice for Entrepreneurs in Scaling Mode 
00:56:20 - How To Pick the Right Investments 
00:56:35  - How to Build a Community on an Online Marketplace
00:57:40 - What’s a Successful Marketing Strategy? 
00:59:16 - Would Gaurav Be an Entrepreneur Again? And What Would He Do? 
00:59:51 - What Did Gaurav Do Wrong? What Makes a Good Co-Founder? 
01:03:00 - What Data Works? 
01:04:14 - How To Prepare For Recession? 

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