#473 – The Story of a Near TEN Figure Amazon Seller!

Video of the episode at the bottom

In this exciting episode of SSP, we had the privilege of sitting down with Farhan Huda, he is part of an incredible company that is on track to become the first-ever 10-figure seller that we’ve had in this show! Join us as we dive into Farhan’s captivating backstory, their brand called Utopia, and his manufacturing experiences in China and Pakistan. We also discuss how they reached the impressive 9-figure mark and their journey towards 10-figures.  
 
Farhan also shares his valuable insights on avoiding problems with Amazon, their criteria for successful products, how they’re staying competitive in crowded markets, and strategies for success. Don’t miss out on Farhan’s top strategies for newer sellers and his 60-second tip that could transform your business. This episode is a must-listen!

In episode 473 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Farhan discuss: 

  • 01:25 – Farhan’s Backstory  
  • 03:22 – Talking About Their Brand: Utopia  
  • 05:17 – Manufacturing Products In China And Pakistan  
  • 11:49 – Hitting The 9-Figure Seller Mark & On The Way To 10-Figures  
  • 12:53 – How To Avoid Problems With Amazon  
  • 15:30 – “Every Household In The US May Have Bought Our Product”  
  • 16:20 – How Often Do They Launch Products?  
  • 17:26 – Are All Their Product Launches Successful?  
  • 18:45 – Their Criteria For Successful Products  
  • 20:08 – How They Stay Competitive In These Product Categories  
  • 22:09 – 9-Figure Seller’s Top Strategies For Success  
  • 23:56 – Selling In Walmart.com  
  • 24:37 – Utopia’s Top Marketplaces Outside The US  
  • 25:23 – Should You Consider Manufacturing Products In Pakistan?  
  • 27:23 – Farhan’s Hobbies & Healthy Habits Outside The Amazon Grind  
  • 29:12 – Top Strategies That Newer Sellers Should Do  
  • 31:39 – Why Is There A Big E-commerce Boom In Pakistan?  
  • 34:24 – Farhan’s 60-Second Tip

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we’ve got a nine figure Helium 10 user who is going to be talking about their story of their company. And if we have them back on the show next year, their trajectory might make them the first 10 figure seller to be on this show. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you a YouTube blogger, blog writer, course creator, or other kind of influencer or educator? Maybe you just have a network of people interested in e-commerce. Did you know that you can earn commissions of 25% for life? For everyone that you refer to Helium 10, we’ve got many partners earning hundreds, even thousands of dollars monthly in commission from Helium Ten’s partnership program. If you’d like to join our affiliate partner program, please go to h10.me/crushit and tell them you heard about it from the podcast. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton. This is a show that’s completely BS free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And we’ve got a super serious seller here I believe you’re in Canada right now? Is that where you’re calling in from?

Farhan:

I’m based off of Canada,

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Awesome, awesome. So Farhan, welcome to the show. Where, where in Canada are are you at?

Farhan:

I’m near Toronto. Mississauga.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. How long have you lived out there in Toronto?

Farhan:

Oh, it’s been a while. I moved to Canada in 2003. So since then I have been in Canada, but I have been working in and out of US all along since I’m here. So I have been traveling quite a while. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Originally from Pakistan?

Farhan:

I was born and raised in Pakistan.

Bradley Sutton:

What part?

Farhan:

Karachi.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Been that’s my favorite food in Pakistan when I’ve been there is, is from Karachi. The chicken briani was, Oh my goodness. Amazing. It’s my mouth water, just thinking about it. Yeah.

Farhan:

Near the beach. And then, I don’t know if you have been to Toronto, but if you come, we have a lot of good Pakistani food.

Bradley Sutton:

One restaurant here in like, all of San Diego that, or at least that I know of. And so, yeah. All right. I, I’ll, I have another reason now to go visit Toronto. Now I’m assuming you went to university there in Toronto as well?

Farhan:

So I did my bachelor’s from karachi. Then when I moved here, then I upgraded my degree from University of Toronto.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, what did you study?

Farhan:

Computer Science.

Bradley Sutton:

Computer Science. All right. Now, upon graduation and getting your degrees, is that what you started you know, getting a job in and things?

Farhan:

Yeah. Yeah. So I, I graduated in a software, and then I worked for a few software companies over here. Then I started my own software company basically working as a consultant. And then my friend was having this startup or expansion of Utopia, basically. He was working in New York as well, and trying to set up Amazon business. And then he needed my help, so I joined them and then expanded from there.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so about what year was this?

Farhan:

So that was 2014.

Bradley Sutton:

2014. Okay. Okay. So

Farhan:

Yeah, when I started helping Utopia. So it’s about nine years.

Bradley Sutton:

Did it start as an Amazon based business, or was it a .com business? Was it a you know, brick and mortar business?

Farhan:

So a little bit of story is that, so my friend started around in 2009, 2010 when he had some stock. So his dad had a towel business in Karachi. Okay. So when he retired, he moved to New York with him. To keep him busy, they imported few, few lots tried to sell on eBay, well before even eBay. They had a wholesaler they contacted, but they didn’t have good experience. So they tried to sell it themselves. So started with eBay and then for a few years did eBay, then Amazon popped up. They started doing Amazon as well. And then obviously eBay went down, and then Amazon picked it up.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. So when you joined the company, what did you join as, or what was your responsibility in those early days?

Farhan:

Early days, so I was in product management. We were adding more products. So initially I was doing part-time basically I was trying to figure out whether that’s gonna work out or not. So basically initially working on adding new product through Alibaba. Then we went to China, mainly Canton Fair few times between 2014 and 2016 added more product expanded the US business. And then between 2016 and 2019, basically we launched 2017 Canada and Europe. And then basically expanded over over there. And so me, from the beginning, I was in the product management. Then I grew from there took our other roles in supply chain, HR, procurement sales and whatnot. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, the family business started in Karachi. Now, at that time, were they manufacturing only in Pakistan, or even at that time you were importing from other countries?

Farhan:

So initially it was towells only in in Pakistan. And then when it picked up, we saw some, some decent reserves from there. So then we started basically we are brand owners, so we manufacture only in our brand. So we were manufactured from China. So then we added other home textile product words like bed sheets, converters, pillows, curtains, you name it. So until 2018-2019, the other products we were doing from China, and in 2019 we started expanding our, our manufacturing facilities in Karachi and started slowly moving products from China to, to our own facilities. And now it’s about, I would say 80 to 85% manufacturing and in Pakistan, and rest is in China.

Bradley Sutton:

How do you choose what you make in Pakistan versus what you make in China?

Farhan:

So it was straightforward initially. Mostly the I would say stainless steel products. So we have, our bigger portfolio is home textile, but we, 20, 25% of our products are plastic based and cookware, stainless steel as well. So, so those were I would say we were, we didn’t have the expertise in the beginning, so, so we were doing those in China initially is still to date we are expanding our manufacturing capacity. The good problem we have is that whatever we manufacture, we, we import or buy ourselves in US and Europe and sell. So there’s always a challenge for the capacity. So if we wanna fill the gap, we want more inventory. So we still, sometimes we take some of the home textile goods from China as well, but mostly the kitchen products, stainless steel, although we are setting up our TNS steel and, and cost iron and product line in Pakistan as well. So the long run goal is to be independent and, and do all the manufacturing in Pakistan.

Bradley Sutton:

So the, the stuff that you get from China, it’s not necessarily, you don’t run the factory, you don’t have full control like you do in Pakistan, you’re just buying from

Farhan:

That is correct. So the main reason the business strategy was that. And that came into being around 2017-2018 other big sellers were coming on Amazon. Amazon was doing their own private label, so they were getting bigger orders from the vendors as well. So if you are manufacturing, let’s say from a bigger vendor as well, but they have multiple customers, so I mean, you are not higher up in the priority, and then you will face the supply chain challenges whatnot. So having your own manufacturing capacity, you have control for the manufacturing, supply chain quality and price as well.

Bradley Sutton:

Once you have a SKU that you’re producing in Pakistan or producing in China, I almost, I’m not sure if I understood correctly, but do you have backup factories at all? Like where sometimes you might make it at one place and sometimes you make it another, or once you have something made somewhere, a hundred percent of the manufacturing is at that factory.

Farhan:

So the goal is to have a hundred percent manufacturing of that factory, let’s say in Karachi and Pakistan. But if, if we are having some challenges in terms of, let’s say manufacturing capacity or some of the, let’s say the print items, right? We, we, we haven’t scaled up in our manufacturing. So, so, so part of this of the printed products on the Bedsheet side or on the, on the curtain side, we are still doing from China, because we have some, like, we are still setting it up in Pakistan.

Bradley Sutton:

But what I mean is like, let’s, regardless whether you’re making something in Pakistan or China, yeah. Like it almost sounded like you were saying you, you have like a backup. Sometimes the production is not enough, or Hey, this SKU is only made at this place, this SKU is only made in China, this SKU is, or do you sometimes, oh, man, we’re, we’re, we’re behind in Pakistan, so let’s switch manufacturing to–

Farhan:

Not like only in one location.

Bradley Sutton:

So that was why I was asking my question then, is like, that’s interesting to me because like, do you ever run into issues where, you know, the quality is a little bit different or customers notice that something is different, or maybe it’s just like the, the color is slightly off or anything like that when you’re switching back and forth between factories?

Farhan:

Yeah, yeah. So, so we would try to minimize that, but you’re, you’re right, sometimes the shades challenges are there. Quality. I think a lot of vendors or manufacturers, we are working in China. We are working for about 10 to 12 years, so they know what quality we like. And then we have a very, very strong quality team that do pre-inspections as well in China to make sure that quality is up to the mark. But yeah, on and off, we do run into challenges there sometime. And that could be from either side that one of the recent imports we did. And, and, and there are some, some bad reviews or in quality reviews are coming from there. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. Now, it wasn’t your product, but I, I was just thinking about that. And I ordered some I had bought a new, we, we, we bought a new sofa at our house, and then I bought these like, I don’t know what you call them, like sofa covers mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then I just bought like, you know, four or five to test out over one part of the sofa, and we’re like, oh, okay, this is good. Let’s, let’s go ahead and buy the other four. And it was really weird. Like one of them, like, I know I bought the right color, but it was just slightly off. And I’m like, that’s kind of weird. Now, now I’m, I was too lazy to make a bad review and I just figured that nobody you know, my, it’s not so bad where my guests would notice, you know, but I’m like thinking like, Hmm, when you started talking about that, I’m like, huh, I wonder if whoever I bought this from, it, maybe it might have been similar. You know, they’re making, they’re making stuff at different factories and

Farhan:

Yeah, different locations, different manufacturing. And sometime it could be the different raw material or the way the chemical com compositions are even with the same factory when we make the darker shares like dark gray or black, even so in, when we are doing dying and, and, and other processes, sometimes those they, they can be a little different, right? We try to keep it exact the same, but, but it could be the raw material and, and other, other, other technical details. Yeah. Which could process with the difference of the shared, especially. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, you know, our mutual friend Denise told me that you, you guys are nine figure, you know, company. When did you hit the, the nine figure? What year did you hit the nine figure mark?

Farhan:

Around 20 16, 20 17? Yeah, I mean, we are on track of, maybe by next year we will hit the billion dollars. So wow.

Bradley Sutton:

On, on Amazon Marketplace sales or what, what

Farhan:

On Amazon only? I would say it’s around six 50. I was talking about as a, as a global utopia. Awesome. But mainly big portion is, is Amazon. So Utopia is a umbrella, long mentioned. We have few businesses mainly are around Amazon, which is on Amazon sales, but Utopia Industries is for manufacturing. Then we have Utopia for fulfillment, which is mainly for our logistics, for all the warehousing and delivery from in and out, from warehouse to, to how,

Bradley Sutton:

How about like Walmart and, and other marketplaces as well.

Farhan:

We have tried, Walmart is not that big. Ebay, we still do, but I would say still like one to 2%. We do have our own B2B side YouPay d.com, which is about two to 3%, but 95% of our sales e-commerce sales is mainly from, from Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, when you have an account that is doing hu literally hundreds of millions of dollars on, on Amazon, like to me, I’d be super scared, you know, cuz Amazon, as we know, just sometimes just randomly my Yeah. Suspended account, like have you guys gotten suspended at all? Or, or your account shut down?

Farhan:

Yeah. Yeah. We, we had few few nightmares like that. And, and, and most of them when, whenever we, we worked with Amazon. So for the last three, four years, we are their premium account. So we are in the top of the chain. So we have a premium account membership so we work closely with, with the, with that team. So, so probably you’re aware that on and off Amazon run their bot or, or some sort of a algorithm and then they start sending those, those emails that your account is at risk and whatnot. So we worked clo we worked closely with them, but yeah, few years ago, there was a time when, when they kind of for a few days actually our account was stopped, right. And then we worked with the team and it was enabled again, and then we kind of had an SLA with them.

Bradley Sutton:

I mean, those two or three days, you’re losing more than many Amazon sellers make in a full year. That’s crazy.

Farhan:

Yeah, it was a million dollar multimillion dollar loss. Right. Wow. But then we work with them, we had an SLA and then now even if we get, it’s not at the account level, it’s usually at the product level. And, and, and most of the time, the, the premium account team, they resolve our issue right away. Like I would say the last month we had one of those emails, I think a lot of sellers got, got those emails. So I just called the guy and then he was able to re have, have it removed more.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Wow. That’s, that’s kind of crazy. Yeah. I’m looking, I’m looking at your, your, I was just looking at your, your main page on on Amazon here. And there’s, you know, you could just see some of these skews, like this is not the full, you know, just one skew 20,000 units. I mean, you’re selling like literally thousand units a day, onal for, for some of these, these, these products. And it’s just really, really impressive. And I just noticed that while we were on the phone, I was looking just to make sure that betting or that, that, that that throw wasn’t bought from you. But I just happened to, you know, I went to my orders on Amazon and I, I typed in Utopia mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and sure enough, in 2022 I, I did buy some cotton washcloth. So if you guys are listening out there, check your Amazon orders, look for Utopia and see if PR probably 50% chance you’ve bought some one of the their products. In the past.

Farhan:

We have saying in our company that at, I mean, every household in us have at least one of our products, especially our bedding products, and we claim that we are like number one online bedding sellers in, in us. So we have been studying, if you see batch years, you will see reviews and then all that from there, you can see how many years we sell every

Bradley Sutton:

Day. Not exactly what you thought you’d be able to say in 20 years that when you graduated with computer science degree, not really that you’re gonna have a a home product in every household in North America.

Farhan:

No, I wasn’t even, I, yeah, I never thought of I, I would be doing that. I would probably, okay, I’m on the software side. I’ll probably make some, some products or work for a company. Like, I don’t know, Facebook was not a dead time, but Google and whatnot, and then probably having a startup and whatnot. But I mean, yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now how often, you know, do you guys, how often do you guys launch new products? You know, very often you just kind of stick to your bread and butter, or are you just constantly trying to find the next, you know, new

Farhan:

Very often solutions? We have dedicated so we have a big product management team, which, which looks after all the marketing, pricing, strategy and whatnot. And within those so we have 11 product teams out of two are dedicated for the research and development. So we have a process like every week we have, we are shortlisting products adding new variants and working on new products as well. So I would say in a given year, we, especially like last two years after Covid, we have been launching every month, tens of tens of product new, new categories as well, obviously in the diff same similar genre, home textile and in home and kitchen. But and a lot of products are, are, are, are being researched and, and in the last phases of launching as well.

Bradley Sutton:

Now do you, you know, because you have such strong, a strong brand and so much traffic and things like that, are all of your launches successful or sometimes you launch a product and you’re like, Nope, this is just not gonna work out. We’re gonna have to cut this.

Farhan:

No, we, we had some bad experiences in 2018, 2019 where I think that was not the right time. We tried to introduce some products, some electrical products. We were going out of our comfort zone, I would say or different genre. And then we did some baby pros as well, and even home, home and Kitchen Pro as well. And, and I think we were in that not that mature in terms of launching in 20 18, 20 17. So at that time, I would say our, our success was 15 to 20%, but nowadays for the last, I would say 12 months it’s, it’s easily 70 to 80%. So still, I would say 20, 30% of the product doesn’t work out. We try, we give them each product launch at least couple of cycles, two to three cycles. When I say cycle, it means that delivering decent amount of inventory to Amazon so six to 12 months, and after 12 months of a certain group launch we review and see whether we want to continue that or, or not. But

Bradley Sutton:

Well, what’s your criteria? Like what, what determines successful versus unsuccessful? Just profitability or a set number of units that you want to do?

Farhan:

Profitability is, is one thing, but I mean, for the first six to 12 months, we don’t look for profit, right? That’s part of the marketing strategy. So we look for how, how the customer is reacting to it, what are the reviews? If the reviews are 4.7 plus, we are accumulating reviews at a certain pace. So we are selling probably, you know, that one to 2% buyers give you reviews. So if you’re selling enough units, so you’re generating less in first year, you have 300, 500 reviews, good reviews and then you see the potential as well that where you can grow in terms of profitability wise and whether you can take the best seller or not, because where we are the size of, of the company, we are, we only, well, we mainly look for the best seller.

Farhan:

If we can get a best seller for that particular rescue or, or, or the group, right? If that potential is not there, if you’re not getting a good review from the customer, we still don’t decide to stop it. We, we see why customer is not liking it, whether it’s the quality, whether there’s the feature or is the U s p that’s why it’s not popular that we can improve. But yeah the criteria is to, to get the best seller, good reviews be on the top first page organically for sure. And then, then eventually making the profit on it.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, traditionally, you know, some of the categories you’re selling in are, are some of the most saturated, you know, most competitive categories out there. So are, are you, is it hard to stay profitable? Like, like are you having to, to play the price war game or because of your brand awareness, you can come in at a higher price point than maybe some of the newer Chinese sellers or, or things? Yeah. Like that and what’s your strategy there?

Farhan:

So, so for the last two years, it gets very, very price competitive. But for us, I think the main advantage is that we were always very price competitive. We work on volume rather than having a bigger margin on each, each unit. Right. And, and that’s why when we did our manufacturing and we leaned it, so we are vertically integrated, so we try to make our manufacturing cost at minimum and, and, and to keep the profit margin reasonably not very high so that we can give that advantage to the buyer, right? And, and then from, from from, because we were, we have some early seller advantage as well. We have been selling for, for last 10, 12 years. So, so the products they are there, which are mature, adding more variations to that or related product, they pick up very well when we do, yeah.

Farhan:

New launches. Then through our marketing strategies, like different strategies, selling on the 50% loss and then, and all that coupon strategies, deal strategies, we, we bring a product to a certain level, like first page or close to the best seller, and then we, we focus on, on the profitability. But we don’t, we don’t do like very high margin on, on any of our product. Our product, if you see like converters or pillows or even hangers they’re very price competitive as compared to even Amazon Basics. So because our competitors are like bigger giants, Amazon Basics and <inaudible> and whatnot. So, so, so we, we keep our price very competitive.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, what, what are some of your you know, let’s talk, you know, some strategies, some unique, some things that you, you think you do are unique. You know, you’ve already talked a little bit you know about, about your, your, your strategy here, but what you know about launching things, but, but what are some other strategies, whether it’s, you know, reviews, whether it’s branding, whether it’s packaging, whether it’s, you know, logistics. Yeah. You know, when you get to this level, I’m sure you’ve, you know, have a few tricks up your, your sleeve. So what, what are some things that you think you’re doing that maybe the majority of Amazon sellers might not be?

Farhan:

Yeah, obviously I, I won’t be sharing the core, core secret. Secret,

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, yeah, sure. Right? Yeah. But please show me all of your SOPs and let, let’s share it with the world

Farhan:

<Laugh> for sure. But on the high level, obviously, your product needs to first satisfy the customer need, right? So, so what’s your product? Whenever somebody’s launching a product, what are their U s P? It needs to be price competitive, because what you see sells, right? So your, your pictures, your, your videos should be up to the mark. You should do PPC marketing. It goes upfront, but to be competitive, obviously the packaging you mentioned, because if you’re doing fba, it goes with the volume and, and, and, and the dimensions as well, right? So your packaging needs to be accordingly. So it’s, Amazon won’t charge you too much for the FBA fees. Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm. And, and, and then, then the quality of the product and how, how you’re doing your, your marketing through the deals, through the coupons, through through keyword marketing. Obviously this is one of the main, the ppc you need to learn that art and, and, and you need to be on top of it. Amazon changes their algorithm, not very often, but, but, but they do change it often, right? So you need to be well versed about that, so, and then change your marketing strategies accordingly.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Now when you say, Hey, Walmart hasn’t worked out, do you just like, give up on Walmart completely, or you still just sell there? Just don’t put much focus on it?

Farhan:

We, we still sell. So we, we started on Walmart around 20 18, 20 19, actually, 20 18, 20 19. We tried a lot of platforms. We tried jad.com, we tried sharers, we tried Target, we tried Walmart, and then we said, no. I mean, our, I mean, it could be beneficial, but they’re way behind in terms of our revenue and, and, and return on investment. So, so we focused on Amazon. Recently for the last six months, we are still doing Walmart. You will see few of our products who are there, there are a couple of guys looking after that, but the focus is, is, is very low.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Okay. Foreign marketplaces what’s num number two, three, and four for you as far, obviously, you know, USA is number one, but for foreign Amazon marketplaces, what, what’s some of the top for you

Farhan:

For us Europe and Canada? So Canada, in terms of revenue, I would say is, is around eight to 10%. But the profitability in Canada is very high interest. Profitability is, is around 15 to 18% uk. We sell all across uk, Europe in Europe, we have France, Germany, Spain, Italy. So if I do combination of all I would say in terms of revenue, 70% in us, 20% uk, Europe, and 10% Canada. But profitability ratios are different, obviously.

Bradley Sutton:

So, I mean, it makes a lot of sense that your company, you know, manufacturers a lot in, in Pakistan, obviously, you know, the company started there. But for, for anybody, you know, whether somebody’s from Pakistan or not, you know, there are certain perhaps products that you might suggest that, hey, you know, you probably should look at at, at Pakistan as opposed to China. Like, I, I, I agree with you, like, Hey, maybe stainless steel. Yeah. You know, unless you have your own stain, you know, like, like that’s probably, you know, good just to be in China and plastics and, and stuff like that. But would you say anything related to textiles is better to start in Pakistan or only certain kinds of, of textiles? Or how would you suggest to somebody who’s, who’s looking to get into a new niche and they’re like trying to decide where they’re gonna source their product?

Farhan:

De depending on, on, on the products itself, right? But I mean, home, home textile, if you’re doing any home textile, gu a lot of bigger retailers like Walmart, target, they’re importing from Pakistan, they’re bad shoes, they’re comforters their pillows. So, so the home textile not in Karachi, but even you go on the other province, Punjab, faba site, you have a lot of home textile manufacturing units over there. Spore goods are really good. Some of the dental equipments like FD approved dental equipments for, for dentistry and, and operations and whatnot. We do our cosmetic care products. We have utopia care brand so like scissors, cuticle, nis and whatnot. We do from, from from Pakistan as well. But yeah, any, any of the home textile good. I, I think in terms of quality and price competitiveness Pakistan is, is very good. Garments, even jeans related products they are being manufactured in Pakistan, and, and you will, you will find a very good quality I think in that region, like Bangladesh, Pakistan, the cotton, the quality of the cotton is really good. So, so those, those part sounds really good if, if they’re doing the justice with the manufacturing and, and, and the quality control.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, we’ll, we’ll get back into you know, the, the, the Amazon strategies in a couple, couple minutes here, but one, one question I ask a lot of, you know, lately the, my guest is completely non, non entrepreneurial related, but it’s important, I think because, because, you know, I, I had health issues last year and, and as entrepreneurs sometimes we don’t know how to, you know, balance, you know, work, work and life. So just, I’m just curious, number one, what are some of your hobbies that you do when you want to get a, you know, step away from, from Utopia? So what, what’s your, what’s your opposite of utopia your, your personal utopia, and then also what are some of your, your habits, your healthy habits, like whether for mental health or physical health, like, you know, gym you have Yeah, yeah. You know, sports that you do. Go ahead.

Farhan:

Yeah, so, so first thing is, I mean, I, I have been playing cricket. I don’t know if, you know, there’s a sports like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, baseball, cricket, it’s very popular in, in that region, Pakistan or England as well. So I still play that that’s the one thing I told my wife and we were getting married that I, I can’t leave cricket behind, so I still play in the summer, in the winter, obviously I play indoor in the summer I play outdoor cricket, right? Okay. Other than that I like biking and hiking. So in summer with, with my cares or with my friends, I go for biking and hiking. So that keeps for, for my mental health and whatnot. I have noticed that it’s very working well for me, if I, if I sleep early around 10, 11 and wake up around 5, 5 30, so I get my, my own time like without, with family and whatnot I get a few hours in the morning before kids wake up, and then in the night as well, I get a proper healthy sleep. So that, that’s working out very well. So that, that’s what keeps my, my mind at peace as well. And I think physically healthy as well, doing gym or just running in the morning. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Okay. All right. Back to the strategies, I’m just curious, you know, you have a lot of experience on, on Amazon now, obviously, you know that the average person who’s just starting or maybe, you know, smaller company looking to expand, they can’t just use the same strategies that you, you know, they, hey, let, let’s, you know, take a huge loss for six months and let’s do this crazy campaign, and, and, and let’s get up to 20,000 units of sales in the, in this, I mean, like, you know, that’s not the average person, but you know, in your experience, like what, what, what should the average person, you know, whether they’re new or, or maybe they are like a, you know, small seven figure company, you know, like what do you see as some of the the niches or, or, or some of the, the opportunity, you know, cuz my opinion, I’m sure you, you agree that some people say, oh, it’s too late to, to sell on Amazon. No, it’s not too late. You know, there, there’s still plenty of opportunity Yeah. On Amazon, you guys have your niche, you guys have your process of what you do. Yes. But when you’re, when you’re doing your, your thing, I’m sure you see other things like, oh, you know, if I was just by myself, I probably would’ve done I probably would, would get into this or, or something like that. Yes. What, what would you think for for people out there?

Farhan:

No, you are absolutely. I I think it’s still opportunity is there and it’s huge opportunity on, on Amazon all across e-commerce. And especially in e-commerce. Amazon is the giant, right? So opportunity is there for, for anybody who’s starting or, or a small scale as compared to 2012 or 2014, it is a lot of more, more sellers out there. But it’s still, if you, if you can find categories or, or products I will not recommend to go for a niche product because obviously you’ll have to do more marketing and, and you’ll have higher risk score there. So, so products which are everybody’s need, every household need or product where you see less competition, right? Pick those product don’t like start crawling first, then walking and running, right? So look for the products and target maybe 10 units a day, then 20 units a day, 15 units a day, those make those smaller wins. And then then increase your portfolio from there. Target maybe make your milestones in a way that in first three months of selling, you wanna be on the second page on your, your keyword search. Then six months you wanna be on the first page organically, right? Because that’s, that will take you for the long haul. Maybe in the first year, you can be on the first page organically. That would be a great, great success order there.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Cool. Cool. You know, I, I, I, I visited Pakistan a couple of times and seen firsthand the, the kind of like enthusiasm about e-commerce is crazy. Like I did, like, yeah, I don’t know, I’ve probably done five or six events and there’d be anywhere between 500 and a thousand people, you know, at each one. And what, how do you, how, how do you view the, the kind of like, you know, 10 years ago that wasn’t the situation, you know people weren’t into e-commerce. Like, what, what do you, what what’s going on over there? Like, like, why, why? So why all of a sudden is there this big boom, you know, like in the past, maybe people thought about, you know, getting, you know, help for their Amazon business, all right? Maybe Philippines, you know, maybe only India, you know, but like, why, why, why, why is Pakistan coming on so strong lately?

Farhan:

There, there, there are few, few success stories there as well. Utopia being one, right? When we started and we opened our first office in 2015, and we were having very hard time finding people with the e-commerce marketing experience, let alone Amazon, right? So what we did, we, we looked for the, one of the top a few top business graduates universities, and hired people from there and trained them, right? So over the course of, I would say eight, nine years there were a hundred of resources we hired and, and they moved out of utopia. They start, some of them, I know a few of them, Danish being one, they started their own entrepreneurship training centers as well. They help a lot of sellers as well. They work with other, they, they work with other giants, manufacturing giants or, or corporate giants were there to set up those training centers.

Farhan:

And at the same time, as I said Pakistan is a, a manufacturing, like one of the bigger strength in Pakistan is, is home textile and manufacturing. So those giants, they got entrusted looking into success of Amazon, success of Utopia and other like enablers and, and whatnot. And, and they, they came up with, with like a big, big, big initiatives to expand. And then on, on the talent side there has been a a lot of good talent. It’s just to show them direction, right? What I have seen when I, when I was kid, everybody was doing like, engineering and, and doctor and whatnot. But now for the last four or five years, it’s, it’s like there’s a boom of e-commerce. People know, and especially with the covid push, everybody’s going towards e-commerce or online sellings or social media, right? So, so on the talent side as well, people are very motivated and, and interested learning e-commerce and, and, and, and the good talent is, is working over there. And, and on, on the training side or on the university side as well people are, are, are taking initiatives and, and, and training those guys in the right direction as well.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Cool. Alright. Something we do on the shows LA last we call either the 60-second tip or 30-second tip. You know, you’ve been giving us different strategies and stuff, but you have something you can say that’s kind of quick hitting maybe 30 or 60 seconds strategy, Amazon or non-Amazon, whatever. Maybe, maybe it’s your own Briani recipe. You wanna, you wanna give in 60 seconds? I’ll let us know what, what, what can you tell us here?

Farhan:

I’ll, I’ll just say what I, I, I say my, my team. Whatever you guys do, just keep trying. If you’re launching a product or working as a virtual assistant in the beginning whatever field you’re working, try to be the champion of that field. Work. Go for the excellence, right? And then, or be the magnet and, and the other success and money will, will come towards you. So whether it’s been your marketing strategy or you’re making a ani, go for the go for the excellence of that particular task. And, and, and then things will come to you eventually. And then be, be persistent and keep trying.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. Awesome. Well, Farhan, thank you so much for joining us. And Incre, congratulations on all your success. We usually try and invite guests back, you know, maybe once per year, and who knows, maybe by, by the next time you’re on here, you’ll be our first ever 10 figure. Sure. 10 figure seller coming on here. All right. I really hope. Thank you very much and we’ll see you later.

Farhan:

Thanks for inviting Brad. Have a good day. Take care. Bye.


Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, or wherever you listen to our podcast. 

Get snippets from all episodes by following us on Instagram at @SeriousSellersPodcast 

Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started: 

  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business. 
  • Helium 10: 30+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon or Walmart business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
  • Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation. 
  • SellerTrademarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
author-photo

The Helium 10 Software Suite will allow you to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors as it was designed and battle-tested by Amazon's top sellers. So if you want more sales, more time, lower PPC costs, and if you want to discover hidden keywords your competitors don’t use then start using Helium 10 -- the same tools top Amazon sellers use on a daily basis.

Published in:
Published in: Serious Sellers Podcast

Achieve More Results in Less Time

Accelerate the Growth of Your Business, Brand or Agency

Maximize your results and drive success faster with Helium 10’s full suite of Amazon and Walmart solutions.

Accelerate the Growth of Your Business, Brand or Agency

Software for Amazon FBA and Walmart Sellers