For some time now, Venipak cars have been displaying the term “Delivery Platform”. According to the company’s owner and founder, Nerijus Raudonis, this is in fact much more than simply a sign. It is a long-term vision for the business, which coincides with the company’s active European expansion and its transformation from a courier company to a trading business.
Mr Raudonis predicts that courier services will account for no more than 10% of Venipak’s revenue in the future, while the company’s business will change radically.
“If today, courier services account for around 90% of the revenue we generate, in 5 years’ time they will account for only 10%, if not less. We are trying to take Venipak in a new direction and transform the company from a physical logistics job into a trading platform. Our vision is to become a wholesale business exclusively for e-commerce,” Mr Raudonis said about the company’s long-term plans.
According to him, this e-wholesale niche is completely undiscovered and is still emerging: “We were looking for ways to expand globally, we tried to deconstruct the whole trading chain and we found this niche, which is practically non-existent – not only in Europe but also throughout the world. Nowadays, all e-shops tend to work directly with the suppliers or manufacturers. We want to provide the best local options with fast deliveries in any major market within 24 hours.”
Starting with the Netherlands, and looking to the US
One of the company’s most notable strategic moves has been the acquisition of the Dutch e-commerce company Strengholt Entertainment, announced earlier this year. The deal immediately opened up a basket of around 4 million products in the high-end and premium category, allowing the company to immediately take on a larger part of the marketing chain beyond just logistics.
According to Nerijus Raudonis, Venipak’s goal is to work with local heroes in each major European market, such as the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. One example is Pigu.lt, which is a local hero in Lithuania, as well as Allegro.pl in Poland.
The company is also looking at the US giant Amazon, the strongest global player in e-commerce. According to Mr Raudonis, only 15% of companies selling on Amazon in the US also sell their products in Europe. This is because individual suppliers wishing to enter the European market through Amazon face challenges such as customs clearance, as each country has its own specificities, and the language barrier of dealing with at least 9 different languages. Another challenge is that each European market has its own VAT tax base.
“All this makes it difficult for an individual supplier to enter the market. However, if there is an intermediary who is able to perform the functions of adaptation, dealing with tax issues and even taking care of the range of goods, it is a great incentive to work with a wholesaler like us. We promise to offer this comprehensive service and help US suppliers avoid the challenges of entering the European market,” the owner of Venipak explained.
To this purpose, Venipak is planning to set up around 20 e-fulfilment centres in Europe, where it will distribute the most relevant goods for each region.
A new leader with a new direction
In September, Sabina Bačiulienė, who has extensive experience in e-commerce, joined Venipak’s management team as the company’s Global Business Development Manager. This is a completely new position, which is directly linked to Venipak’s active expansion in Europe from a courier company to a trading company.
The Venipak management team is still responsible for the management of its logistics business in the Baltics, including finance, sales and HR. Venipak also has a group manager in the Netherlands who is responsible for the global expansion strategy, looking beyond the Baltic countries and finding ways to develop the business beyond logistics.
Ms Bačiulienė’s position in the management team is distinguished by the fact that she will be responsible for strengthening the e-wholesaler and the organisational parts of the company’s development. As a result, she will be working closely with the teams in the Netherlands and Lithuania.
“The e-commerce market is vast and is growing exponentially, and our team is in a good position to enter deeply into this niche. We can already offer the market attractive, innovative solutions that will provide a good user experience. The growing e-commerce sector needs logistics solutions, such as warehousing and transportation, so I see a large and untapped potential for their development,” Ms Bačiulienė revealed.