By Robert A. Vergara, Jr., Digital Reporter
LIKE MANY Filipino-Chinese boys, 29-year-old Joshua Aragon, CEO and co-founder of online grocery platform Pushkart.ph, grew up as if he were destined to become a businessman.
Hailing from the Go family of mall and supermarket chain Ever Gotesco, Aragon was exposed to operations at an early age, allowing him to learn the fundamentals of running a business.
But his dad always told him: “When you turn 30, make sure you’re starting your own business. You should be able to start something by yourself because after 30 it will be riskier for you because you already have your family and kids. Whatever you want to do, start before you’re 30.”
And so Aragon left the family business in 2015.
He tapped former De La Salle University-Manila schoolmate Bryan Reyes, whose background is in information technology. After several discussions on possible ways to “innovate” and “improve Filipinos’ lives,” the two came up with the idea of creating a digital grocery platform that will allow users to buy grocery items in as fast as 15 minutes.
“One of the low-hanging fruits was online groceries because my family runs a supermarket chain,” he admitted. Launched in April 2017, Pushkart.ph has two partners: Fisher Supermarket and of course, Ever Supermarket. The company charges users P199 for every purchase below P2,000. Delivery of products worth above P5,000 is free.
In a year, the platform has already amassed an estimated 100,000 users and keeps growing by 30% per month in terms of revenues and basket size.
This year, the company eyes expansion in provinces outside Luzon, specifically in Cebu, Davao, and Bacolod.
For Aragon, it’s the timing that really brought the company to its early success.
Philippine e-commerce has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the past three years, as many Filipinos shift from traditional brick-and-mortar shops to their online counterparts to buy goods and services. From fashion items and electronic gadgets, consumers can now also use the internet to fill their pantries.
“I see that there’s a lot of people who are afraid of the inconvenience of traditional groceries, so this is the right time right wave to get into the market,” he said. “From our point of view it’s convenience. An average Filipino spends two to four hours shopping in a day, so that’s the pain point we’re trying to solve.”