By Sholom Ber Nemanow
Photos: Marko Dashev
We’re all familiar with just how cheap and convenient shopping online on Amazon or eBay can be. What you may not have been so familiar with is just how many of your friends and neighbors are sitting on the other side of the screen, selling you that bargain-priced pair of headphones or that bulk pack of pens.
Online retail is one of the fastest growing markets in history and people in our community have been taking advantage of it, as evidenced by last week’s “Finding Succeess in E-Commerce” seminar and networking event. The main hall at Agudah of Avenue L was full to capacity as nearly 300 business men and women from communities across the tri state area gathered to listen, learn, and network.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Chaim Piekarski of C&A Marketing, a leading ecommerce company. Mr. Piekarski spoke about the importance of having a clear plan for your company and the need to stay focused on your core values. The event also featured roundtable Q&A discussions hosted by industry leaders from many different E-Commerce categories, like Mr. Yoel Stern Director of R&D – Windsor Global who specializes in product development and Mrs. Leora Platt, Sales and Marketing Manager at Teri Jon, who specializes in Marketing Basics of Ecommerce.
Walking around the room one could hear all manner of questions being asked and answered, from the specific like “When is it time for me to hire HR for my company?”, put to Mr. Chaim Piekarski of C&A Marketing; to the more broad, like “When does a company decide to go for financing vs selling off equity,” asked to Mr. Zisha Novoseller of EPI.
Roundtable participants gained very different things as well, one, who identified himself as an e-commerce beginner said that he was there just to get more comfortable with the various concepts and principles. Shmuel Schnitzer from TJE, one of the event’s organizers, recounts how attendees kept on coming over to him and relating that seeing hundreds of entrepreneurs, all serious about their businesses, in one room together was inspiring. “People came out of the night making solid networking connections, we gave them access to very high level successful entrepreneurs. It was great!”
The atmosphere at the event was warm and friendly, something which was commented on by more than one person; Tzvi Chamish of InstaTrade said it was “a warm atmosphere, a great Business chill.” Jeremy Greenberg of SellerCloud, which was an event sponsor, commented on how impressed he was with the Ahavas Yisrael in evidence, people willingly and happily sharing advice and lessons with others who might be their competitors one day.
The attendees came bearing different levels of e-commerce experience and success, ranging from 10-15 year veterans to people who are just getting started, and there was something there for everyone. Rabbi Yehoshua Werde of CHYE (Crown Heights Young Entrepreneur), co-host of the event, explained that “We wanted to reach both the young people just getting into it and the older people who feel they have more to learn.” The mission of all the organizations, CHYE, TJE and EPI is to help the community take advantage of business opportunities he said and “E-Commerce is a field with incredible potential that we want to help people get into and succeed.”
E-Commerce has clearly turned into a great business for the frum community and more and more people are jumping in. Today, you almost certainly have a friend or family member in the business, and who knows, tomorrow it might be you.
Video: Full speeches