The first brave company to venture into previously unexplored territory opens the gates for other new companies—and competition. Case in point: Mober, a local startup that’s first to offer an on-demand platform for cost-effective, same-day delivery service for SMEs, shoppers, and households. It offers full-freight and lipat-bahay solutions, among other transport services. With an investment from leading logistics provider 2GO and big-name clients in the furniture and sports retail industries, Mober is enjoying success in its niche in the logistics technology industry.

Naturally, companies offering a similar service can’t be far behind. New players are springing up, hoping to replicate Mober’s success. Dennis Ng, CEO and founder of Mober, reveals how the company stays ahead of its competitors.

Quick turnaround times. Unlike other companies whose head offices are located in other countries, Mober Philippines is a homegrown startup with its headquarters located in the country.

“Because management is based here, any decision-making is very easy for us. My team will send me a recommendation, we can make a decision in a few hours. We don’t have to throw it to the regional office or any headquarters,” says Ng. “I think that’s one thing that [gives] Mober an edge.” 

An intimate knowledge of its market. “The Filipino market is a very unique market. It’s totally different from our neighbors in Southeast Asia. We have this personal touch,” Ng shares. Mober’s customers, he says, are segurista. “They already booked through an app and they [still] want to make sure that the technology sent their booking. They have to call our call center, ‘Nakuha niyo yung booking?’” Ng relates. While they now have a few competitors in the country, Mober is the first to have a dedicated call center that services customers from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.

A big vision. Aside from aiming to help reduce traffic congestion by streamlining the use of delivery vans, Ng also envisions a program called “driverpreneur,” which is meant to empower drivers. Ng explains, “After two years of operation, we’ve realized that the problem is the driver. There’s a shortage of drivers. When I say there’s shortage of drivers, it’s because the children of the drivers now saw the hardship of their father. They don’t want to be a driver.”

To address this, Mober has partnered with another startup called Delivery Nerd, which provides vans for these drivers. “They will finance a delivery van. [The drivers] pay on a daily basis, yung parang boundary basis but they own the van. At the same time, they sign with Mober, and Mober guarantees a booking every day. So we’re trying to create this next breed of driverpreneur. At the same time, I would like to call them SME na rin,” says Ng.

Mober’s strong partnerships with its drivers, Delivery Nerd, and Globe myBusiness help them bring their vision to life. Globe provides the tech support that allows Ng’s company to operate smoothly. The CEO adds, “I think we’re very lucky that we have this partnership with Globe because Mober alone cannot support these SMEs. In our little way, with this driverpreneur program and in partnership with Globe, we can slowly generate a new breed of entrepreneurs or SMEs. [They can say,] ‘I’m a logistics company.’ Kahit isang van ka lang, logistics company. This is our vision.”

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When aspiring entrepreneurs dream about a venture, they often focus on creating a unique product. But they sometimes neglect to plan for one very important aspect of business: logistics. Defined as the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies, logistics simply means efficiently getting something from point A to point B.

Help for small businesses

It’s seemingly straightforward, but logistics involve a lot of moving parts and has an incredible impact on a company’s bottom line. Think of the caterer who has to get their products from the commissary to the party venue, or the home store that has to deliver furniture to its customers daily. Even the best product will be unable to save a company if it cannot reach its customers. Many would-be entrepreneurs may even be discouraged from getting into business when they consider the considerable investment needed to get their own delivery van.

Enter Mober: This homegrown startup recognizes how important logistics is and offers an on-demand platform for cost-effective, same-day pick-up and delivery services for SMEs, shoppers, and households. The safe and fast service covers everything—from store deliveries to full-freight services, lipat-bahay needs, and even pet transport. Mober gives businesses a reliable way to get their products to their customers and even helps small businesses grow by freeing them from the need to have their own delivery van—a big expense that may end up being underutilized.

A tech partnership

Mober counts large furniture and sports retailers as well as small caterers among its clients, relying on its partnerships with van providers as well as with Globe myBusiness to provide a much-needed service. While the van partners (i.e., independent van owners whom Mober has tapped to make deliveries) are in charge of physically getting items from place to place, Globe myBusiness provides the technology to make the process as seamless as possible, keeping all parties connected, surveying traffic for the fastest routes, and allowing for real-time tracking via Global Positioning System (GPS).

“Every day, we rely on the database, the number of bookings, the heat map, which areas in Metro Manila have the most pickup booking rates. Then from there, we try to use the technology [to determine] where we can avoid the traffic area or limit the time in traffic,” explains Dennis Ng, CEO and founder of Mober.

“Since we are a tech company, we rely heavily on telecommunication. Since we started Mober, we’ve been partnered with Globe. Recently, we’ve been using the Globe myBusiness Vehicle Tracker solution, [even if] our driver has a mobile phone,” he says. While Ng stresses that a low-battery phone is a “mortal sin” in their operations, he acknowledges that it is unavoidable. With the Vehicle Tracker, Mober is able to stay connected to its 300 to 350 van partners even when smartphones fail.

Moving beyond business

The initial purpose of Mober was to help van owners fully utilize their assets, but the company now has a loftier goal: easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila. Explains Ng, “At Mober, we’re thinking [that] if we can fully load one van and consolidate two deliveries in one van, then we can minimize the number of trucks on the road and at the same time, we can minimize traffic.”

With the use of technology, Mober is able to help not only SMEs and other direct customers but also, quite possibly, the general public.

Learn how technology can serve as a key partner in your business. Log on to Globe myBusiness Academy.

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