The Wish List started as a marketplace to sell and promote off-season and off-priced fashion products on a consignment basis. It then pivoted to a platform for stylish and affordable pieces (whether off-season or new), and has since extended its offerings to include beauty and lifestyle products. Albaghli notes that while they did initially receive some negative comments about the user interface and experience, he and his team took them into consideration, and they have since gone on to receive positive and encouraging feedback.
For its business model, the startup started with commission income from products sold on a consignment basis. It has now diversified to include profit from selling the startup’s own inventory, as well as revenue from third-party logistics division. In the future, the team plans to scale up its operations, and ultimately be the most prominent fashion and beauty e-commerce platform in the region. The team is also keen to grow their third-party logistics division by targeting different client segments including home businesses, e-commerce startups and traditional brick and mortar retailers.
When it comes to advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Albaghli points out the distinct opportunity in fintech and edtech, given today’s circumstances. He says startups should focus on two key facets: “One, focus on building a great product or service, but don’t take forever to launch. And two, focus on building a team that shares the same vision. Great people make a great company!”
‘TREP TALK: Fahad Albaghli, co-founder and CEO, The Wish List
What are some of the main considerations that entrepreneurs should keep when starting up a business in Kuwait and why?
“Assess feasibility and competitiveness to ensure that there is a gap in the market, and that you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Choose the right business and legal structure, carefully manage your liquidity and financials, and attract and retain the right talents.”
Can you share your top tips for fellow entrepreneurs on strategies to survive the impact of the COVID-19 crisis?
“Try to reduce your overhead expenses, and go back to bootstrapping. Change your business model, and pivot if the industry you are in is heavily impacted by COVID-19 crisis. Have a contingency plan in case the crisis last more than what’s forecasted.”
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