An Interview with
Founder and Managing Director
Our Call to Support Local Retailers
By the end of 2018, worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $2.8 trillion. And yet, online sales only represent 11.9% of the global retail market. A global survey by CBRE Group Inc. has shown that 70% of millennials prefer shopping in stores, which is surprising considering that their demographic spends an average of 7.5 hours a day online. ASEAN's e-commerce market looks set to hit US$102 billion by 2025 from US$23 billion in 2018, fuelled by the 350 million Internet users in the region and with growth led by Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
With more than 90% of retail spending in Southeast Asia still done offline, Bigg World’s (www.biggworld.co) mission is to help local retailers reach out to new digitally savvy customers and drive online traffic to their retail shops. We wish to instil loyalty among our people to support our local businesses. If our local businesses survive and prosper, more jobs will be created for our people who will be massively disrupted by technology in the next five to 10 years.
On 9 June 2018, we started up Bigg World in Singapore as our global headquarters with our Guest of Honour Senator H.E Chhit Kim Yeat, Vice Chairman of Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Media and Information of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
20 October 2020
Tell us about your background, and how you came to found your company?
Nicholas Tan is a self-driven entrepreneur with global business skills and experience in Asia and Australia. He believes companies have to adopt new technologies and business models, not just to compete, but to survive. Therefore, he founded Bigg World, a blockchain O2O marketplace to solve the problem of fake reviews and fake products on many e-commerce portals. He also created Bigg Cash cryptocurrency as a utility reward token that never expires unlike points or miles and successfully IEO in Sep 2019. Under his leadership, Bigg World was awarded the Brands for Good Award in Nov 2019 by Minister of State (Singapore), Ms Sim Ann for community and society engagement.
Nicholas considers his 8 years service as a Captain in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) as a great training and career. He received 2 scholarships as a maintenance engineer and an experimental fixed wing flight test engineerl. Other notable achievements included the prestigious MINDEF Defence Technology Prize (team) in 2007 and IBM Tagpass Cognitive Intelligence Program in 2017. He is a distinguished graduate and alumni of Raffles Institution, Victoria JC, National University of Singapore and USAF Test Pilot School.
What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
Bigg World’s (www.biggworld.co) mission is to help local retailers reach out to new digitally savvy customers and drive online traffic to their retail shops. Digital technology and E-commerce is sweeping across the world and millions of retailers in South East Asia are at risk of being obsolete. The survival of these small businesses are critical to support their families unlike the big corporations. During this Covid-19 pandemic, we see this problem accelerated and magnified many folds. It is imperative we unite together to support our local businesses today. We provided free listings for merchants and free events for our merchants since day one.
The values that is important to us are loyalty, trust and service. There are many competitors in business and it is the most important to be loyal to the company, our merchants and our stakeholders. Through blockchain, we can create trust in a trustless world as our customers reviews cannot be altered or removed and our points will never expire as you can exchange them for ERC-20 tokens. We currently offer an extensive range of services to our merchants including technical support, government grants and digital marketing services.
Can you explain briefly how your service(s)/product(s) works?
The review and reward system for customers and merchants is implemented through our proprietary POTR (Proof of Transaction Rewards) system. Our customers spend in Bigg World and earn Bigg Coins instead of points or miles which can be converted to ERC-20 Bigg Cash tokens and never expire. These tokens can be exchanged for Bigg coupons to get the very best deals in www.biggworld.co. Our members write reviews on the merchants and the rewards are based on the number of stars the merchant receives from the spenders. All the rewards and review data are immutable and cannot be altered. With blockchain technology, we want our members to know that we have the best merchants and deals through their true and honest reviews.
All fake products, deals or poorly rated merchants are delisted from our marketplace.
How has the industry been changing in recent years?
Ecommerce has evolved rapidly over the last 10 years with global giants such as Alibaba and Amazon one of the largest companies on the planet. Customers have become savvy and merchants have to learn to compete online to survive. However, online profits are eroded and local retailers cannot compete with global factories selling directly. It is important to be in a community that will support their Brand, their value and their uniqueness.
Blockchain is able to build trust in our consumers with immutable, true and honest reviews. Points and miles can be tokenised so that they never expire for the benefit of the consumers. The impact of blockchain in the digital age will be many times greater than the internet with the parallel growth of 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. There is no better time than now to transcend and use the technology to build an exciting digital world together with our merchants over the next 10 years.
What makes you different from what’s currently available in the market?
We are building the go-to platform for reviews. Reviews online has been leading the validation and verification for social or peer-driven online sales. Adding our blockchain methodology, there will be no room for fraud or alterations. Based on the ideology, we have created a unique reward system for the user and merchants through our review system. This allows everyone to be rewarded for being a part of our ecosystem. Importantly, we have our own ERC-20 token that can be exchanged for coupons anytime. Our digital coupons allow our members to get discounts from our local partner merchants. Further incentives are given every time a member uses the coupons on the platform. Our digital coupons could also be used for cross border merchants.
What does the future hold for your company?
Covid-19 has severely affected our retailers and community and we are working hard to help our local retailers survive. The company will be looking to focus on working with the best health products and retailers for our people. We want to expand and work with international retailers to bring their best local products international without our members having to travel during Covid-19. The future of the company is exciting and certainly highly scalable while staying true to our mission of helping our local businesses survive and prosper no matter which country we are living in.