Sunday, December 10, 2017

Redmart - Disappointed and guess no longer the niche player in the market.

I have been using Redmart for a while and I like them for their web interface, and schedule. From 2012 to now I guess I must have made more than a hundred orders with them and have no bad experiences with them till beginning of this year.

Around CNY this year, couple of my orders were "delayed" and that's a minor issue. But then around middle of this year the items delivered were of terrible quality. I can see Brown Rice with some insects, and delivery of different brand items. My most recent order was few days ago and less than half the goods were delivered. The delivery person comment was he wasn't sure but he could only see the items in the warehouse. So another call to Customer care and the lady could tell me immediately that other box containing goods was damaged at warehouse so they didn't send it out.

Information availability: great; Informing customer: can be improved.

So what's the point of knowing something when one could easily take a simple action? If they used the information to inform me earlier, I could have waited for another day or pick another time slot to get the comlpete order. Now the lady on the phone sounded nice, but her KPI appears to be close the case first, so her answer was "the pending order is ~ 20, and I would give $5 voucher". Seriously?

Anyway, I passed it and now looking seriously at Fairprice or Honestbee or dei (the new little india one).. Let's see

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Need a radical change of mgmt, thought process to succeed. Not buying larger fleets but using them is critical.

Source: CNA

The morning news which caught my eye is the nes Comfortdelgro acquiring majority share in Uber car rental subsidiary in Singapore.

It is very unfortunate and not really a win for CDG (also for Uber which I would talk a little later) as this essentially gives CDG a larger fleet and fastly depreciating asset base. The whole idea of new generation service is being asset light. Unless CDG is trying hard to make the books looks good, I don't see a real reason why they went for it. Or is it Uber who made this happened by pushing CDG to a corner? No idea but all guess work..

Now, for Uber this is bad too. It essentially tells me that Uber is losing it's battle against Grab. This is the last fortress uber can't afford to lose but it appears the bastion is cracking. As shared by some other bloggers, analysts the market leader is no longer Uber but Grab. Be it the publicity, or quick to market or localisation of offers; Grab essentially made Uber to lose the market. IMHO, I still see Uber being the better one with some what good customer care, and they are more focussed on passenger. The App is years ahead, and routing of drivers is far better. Unfortunately ease of getting a cab as well as price is where Grab is winning. Well, all lies in the take5,4,3 / save5,4,3 offers which Grab is extremely generous these days. 

The loyalty part for "office workers" is pulling some crowds to Grab as well. I could hear some canteen conversations while visiting city area :) It's just like the miles game. So no wonder Grab is favourited there. 

I am not sure how it ends up but for CDG this is not going to be good. Sad to see the best taxi company thinking that it could continue with it's old expertise, and lay on it's laurels for the future.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Amazon Prime in Singapore.. Sort of and it's pretty confusing at best

You guys may have seen the Amazon prime now launch in Singapore, and as a Amazon Prime US customer for a while, I must say this is a big screw up by Amazon. First of all it's mobile strategy is not going to bring any good feedback from majority of the crowd unless Amazon expects people in the region only end up buying some small sub-$5 items on mobile phone/on road.

I don't see any benefit of Prime video (or for that matter netflix) in the region as the content is totally irrevalent here. So not very sure how Amazon is going to get any business from here except some westerners.

For the time, it's Lazada or Qoo10 stuff which are going to get the market share. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Worst taxis in the world. It's Bangkok without doubt.

I am not talking about the Drivers, Taxis, Cost, Infra or any specific thing but the overall experience. The source is nothing but purely on my observation and limited travel experience over a decade mainly in Asia Pac. So here it goes.

  • India
Ugly: Hardware, Cleanliness & Safety.

The experience sucks here due to Hardware (quality of the vehicle) but situation improved thanks to Uber, Ola kind. Most of these cars are new but depending on the luck you would still get in to a dirty car with wrapped plastic over head rests.

Seatbelts are either purely for Display purposes or doesn't exist. The built quality of these cars are just a surrounded sheet metal so do not expect grand safety features. Also the Drivers are poorly trained, and the lack of enforcement tend to make the ride scary at times. 

Average: Communication, Traffic & Professionalism

Majority of the Drivers are able to communicate in English, so communication is not a major issue but the accent, variation of address/name tend to confuse but I never had an issue thanks to the servitude nature of many Drivers Still acceptable IMHO. The only issue is the "expectation" of Tips/Gratuities makes professionalism in to average. That's something the society need to change.

Traffic can be terrible but it can be planned to avoid major disruptions and its either on par or better than majority nation. 

Great: Availability, & Cost

Once again, thanks to Uber, Ola & similar apps the availability of taxis are amazing. I never had to wait more than 10 min in any of the places I have been to. Most of the times in less than 5 min, I can get in to the taxi. Cost is not bad and great compared to the other costs in India (India is a very expensive place to live, work, travel)

Tips: Get a Uber Black or Similar Premium version to be sure about Safety, Communication and the 30 min traffic jam bearable. 

  • Indonesia
Ugly: Traffic, 

Major problem in Indonesia is Traffic. Nothing else. So plan your schedule based on traffic and nothing else matters. Don't be surprised if a 5 KM ride ends up you sitting in the taxi for 2 hours during peak hours.

Average: Availability, Cleanliness, Safety, & Communication

Bluebird is everywhere, and majority are Toyota vios kind of stuff or MPV. Seat belts do exists, and if you want to go with Silverbird or Goldbird then you can enjoy the mini vans. 

In the ride sharing, Grab appears to be popular or aggressive, but the cars tend to be old and drivers tend to cancel the booking very frequently. Uber is not bad w.r.t cancellations but cars are much better.  Majority of the Drivers are able to speak few words of English but never expect any mis understanding or problems because of language. the folks are very professional.  

Great: Hardware, Professionalism, & Cost

Typical hardware is Toyota, or similar and large cars are very popular due to "car is for family". So either the normal street hail taxis or ride sharing, the chances are high to get a new, good vehicle. Indonesians are very friendly people and I never experienced any rude behaviour or a driver trying to demand extra money.

Lastly this is one of the cheapest place to ride in a Mercedes for an hour or so for less than 20 bucks. 

Tips: Plan your travel based on "Traffic". Get a Uber Black or Grab Premium or Silverbird to spend some quality time in calls, chit chat with your friends

  • Thailand
Ugly: Safety, Professionalism, Cost, Availability, Traffic & Communication.

No meter, and expected to pay double is the norm in BKK. If you get a taxi with meter on by default, just pinch yourself to wake up from the dream. Majority of the drivers are not trained properly (guess farmers trying to make some extra money), can't speak or understand English (or pretend), extremely good at taking long routes, and have no change at all or receipts. 

Thailand has one of the worst road mortality rates in the world and combined with lack of training this makes us to worry about the safety. 

I can go on with the negative experiences and unfortunately I do not have a single positive experience to talk here. Even Uber, Grab couldnt make a difference here. 

Average: Cleanliness & Hardware

Majority of the cars are clean enough and new hardware. Especially those that's going to the Airport (was told there is a rule of max 5 years age for the cars going to Airport). 

Great: ??

None IMHO. 

Tips: Uber Black or Grab Premium or Hotel Car (if you can afford..)

  • Malaysia
Ugly: Professionalism & Traffic

Taxis in KL are not that bad actually. Reasonably priced, clean but the drivers can be rude depending on your luck. Rush hour traffic is getting to be close to jakarta/bangkok level of disaster so watch out the schedule, destination. 

Average: Cost, Safety, Cleanliness & Hardware

If there is one market where Uber/Grab changed, then that would be Malaysia. Be it KL or JB or Pengang, the kind of difference Uber/Grab made was enormous. Not only in terms of quality of vehicles, but overall change is great. It's still the same old Perdua or Proton cars with occasional Japanese but the overall quality is much better now. 

Great: Availability & Communication

Taxis are available almost any time of the day.