Kevin Naftali’s Story Brings Local Brand Kevas Co to the World

Jakarta, IDN Times – “I think my weakness becomes an advantage. My weakness is that I don’t have the capital to open a shop, but that’s my advantage,” Kevin Naftali, founder and owner of the fashion brand Kevas Co. IDN Times, Monday (8/11/2021). Holding on to that optimism Kevin started his business.

“Where is it now, that digital can capture more markets than offline,” he continued. Kevin, is one of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who have succeeded in gaining rupiah coffers through business digitization. He is well aware that the digital market has very promising prospects.

Kevin’s journey with his Kevas Co began in 2011. The 28-year-old man started his business while still studying at Padjadjaran University (Unpad), Bandung. At that time, Kevin was well aware of the potential of Bandung as a fashion paradise. He then sold his first product in the form of knitwear. At that time, this type of product was quite striking because it was different from other fashion products.

Kevin told me that he started his fashion business with only IDR 45 thousand in capital. He used the capital to make product samples. “So I don’t buy finished materials. Create from 0, from thread to fabric, from fabric to cut chest pattern, back pattern, to sweater. The first product was a knitted sweater,” said Kevin.

Kevin sells the product with the system pre order via a digital platform. Cheer up, digital market enthusiasm for Kevas Co.’s first product. beyond his expectations. Kevin felt this in his first 3 months selling Kevas products.

In 1 month, he can sell as many as 3,600 products. During that period, Kevas Co was able to make a gross profit of IDR 594 million per month. “In the past, the price was Rp. 165 thousand. That (income) is gross and the capital is only 1/3,” he explained.

This success made Kevin able to finance his own education until he got a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, Kevin is also driving the economy of local garment businesses.

“Because in Bandung there is a knitting village. Then he usually makes things up in Tanah Abang, or fakes it brands outside, suddenly I entered so the first to create brand himself,” he said.

Despite his success, Kevin is aware that business does not always run smoothly. Entering its third year, Kevas products are widely counterfeited. The counterfeiters, Kevin said, used the real photos advertised by him. However, the products sold to consumers are unoriginal.

“I just bought it, the one in the photo and the one that arrived at home didn’t match. In that era, there was no such thing as Shopee who could give reviews, photos, stars and all kinds of things,” he explained.

Kevin is aware that product counterfeiting is one of the challenges of digital business. Even so, he didn’t bother. Kevin actually focuses on developing the quality of his products.

Kevin Naftali's Story of Success in Bringing Local Brand Kevas Co to the WorldKevin Naftali, founder and owner of the fashion brand Kevas Co. (IDN Times/Hana Adi Perdana)

That challenge did not prevent Kevas Co from growing. Kevin revealed that Kevas Co’s business development could not be separated from his choice to join Shopee around 2017-2018. At the beginning of joining, Kevin admitted that Shopee’s market share was not as big as e-commerce others in Indonesia.

But in a short time, Shopee was able to soar to the top. Based on iPrice’s latest research, the second quarter of 2021 report noted that Shopee is among the leaders in terms of the number of website visitors with a total of 126.99 million web visitors per month.

Meanwhile, based on SimiliarWeb data, Shopee’s visit rate during August 2021 recorded 26.92 million daily active application users who access from Android mobile devices. As for the assumption of the number of visits to this platform on a monthly basis, it reaches 834.5 million visits.

Kevas’ success at Shopee seems to be getting attention. Shopee, said Kevin, offered brand his to enter Shopee Mall. The marketplace assesses that Kevas Co has fulfilled many aspects to enter the Shopee Mall.

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Shopee Mall is a a a dedicated platform featuring products exclusively from retailers and brands. Shopee Mall is also a form of Shopee’s commitment to support the Indonesian government in achieving its target of becoming the largest digital economy in the Southeast Asia region.

“Incidentally, I was offered (to enter the Shopee Mall). Because the criteria in Kevas are included. Like revenge chat which comes in above 90 percent, constant sales of goods per day a number of products. Well, according to Shopee, Kevas entered,” said Kevin.

According to Kevin, Shopee Mall offers several advantages, ranging from higher sales, getting priority to be displayed on the search page, to priority being entitled to participate in Shopee Marketing Solution.

Not only that, through the Shopee export program, Kevin has made it easier to export Kevas products. He can export Kevas products to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines to Thailand. “I was surprised too. So I really don’t pay attention, it turns out that I entered the Shopee Mall, my products can be seen in five countries, “he said.

“Initially, I exported manuals to some of my friends who lived abroad, it was around 2015-2016, but hand carrythe system is like a friend of mine carrying a suitcase, selling it at the shop there, suddenly the shop there is okay and asks for more, but it’s limited, right,” Kevin added.

Kevin Naftali's Story of Success in Bringing Local Brand Kevas Co to the WorldKevas Co logo on one of the products. (IDN Times/Hana Adi Perdana)

Kevin also admitted that he was lucky that his business was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the outbreak hit deeper economic sectors, including the fashion industry.

“I’m shocked. people during the pandemic are afraid, right, I’m a brand there are few instruments, few employees, until now there are only three of me, then in early 2020 the pandemic, my turnover even doubled in 2019,” said Kevin.

Thanks to this, Kevin is still able to move the economy of other small business actors. He said that Kevas Co’s products are 100 percent made in collaboration with home industry. They are scattered in various cities, ranging from Tangerang, Bandung, Jakarta, to Pekalongan. On average, the number of employees in the cottage industry reaches 5-20 people.

He is pleased that Kevas’ success can have a positive impact on other small businesses. He always tries to maintain that role by paying bills to vendors smoothly. This is a form of Kevin’s commitment in supporting local craftsmen and driving the economy.

“I don’t have any debt with vendors. As soon as 3 x 24 hours the goods arrive storage Kevas, I have to pay it off. Where there are several brands of finished goods, which have not been paid for, first sell for 3 months and then they will be paid to the production site,” said Kevin.

“For example, local craftsmen have children who have to pay for school, they have to pay for electricity, their children now have to go to school online for all kinds of things, then we take it easy and then sell it for 3 months to pay for it, people, even though we have money, now I don’t want to be like that. so,” he said.

Apart from that, Kevin is grateful that digital acceleration is able to have a positive impact on MSMEs. One of them is through the payment system cashless or non-cash which according to Kevin, has boosted sales of Kevas.

“Now there can be more than 10 types of payments, right? cash Until I borrow it first, it will increase sales, right,” he said.

In addition to convenience for consumers, non-cash payments also provide convenience and security for transactions. In the future, Kevin hopes that digital acceleration can continue to have a positive impact, especially for MSMEs.

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