With on-demand delivery services popping up left and right in Malaysia, even unicorns like Grab understand the demand for it and have joined the battle of the delivery services. However, Grab and other players in the field focus more on food, general goods, groceries and even flowers. Not many players focus on niche deliveries, thus there’s a market out there that hasn’t been fully tapped into.
David Lei and his two co-founders saw this opportunity and started Fish For It where they directly sell seafood to consumers. Rather than supplying only to supermarkets and wet markets, they want to cater directly to households too. Although the business has only been a few weeks old, they aren’t new to the industry.
The Fishy Trio
David Lei handles all online operations from customer service to processing orders, digital marketing and managing the website. He has an engineering background, but saw an opportunity in the online seafood business.
Together with his childhood friend Hee Kah Hau, they presented their idea to Hau’s family friend, Joe Heng. The idea was to channel Joe’s family 50-year-old seafood supplier business online in order to cater directly to consumers.
Hee Kah Hau coordinates all fresh produce and manages orders to be dispatched to household; he is also a part-time personal trainer. Joe Heng is based in the main landing base at Sungai Besar. He manages the operations of stocks, sends fishermen out everyday, processes seafood to be cleaned, scaled and gutted, vacuum-packs then flash-freezes all produce so it remains in ocean-fresh condition.
“With almost 50 years of experience, it’s safe to say we are very familiar with the ins-and-outs of the industry,” said David.
Delivering Freshness In 48 Hours
Fish For It offers customers over 30 types of ocean-fresh fishes and shellfish caught straight from the Straits of Melaka, and they will deliver it right to your doorstep in 48 hours.
They also offer other services such as steamboat packages, slicing, scaling and cleaning fish for customers if needed. They are very confident in the freshness of their products that they even have a guarantee that if it’s not fresh, they will replace it for you.
The gears start rolling as soon as a customer places an order. That’s when the staff at Fish For It’s main landing base in Sungai Besar begins packing the items.
David added, “We only pack seafood that has arrived within the same day as we have up to 10 boats manned by 60 fishermen going out for open sea fishing, and some boats come back on a daily basis.”
Then, the seafood is cleaned, scaled and gutted according to every individual customer’s preference as opted within the order, vacuum-packed immediately and dispatched in an insulated container box filled with ice to keep it cool so seafood remains in ocean-fresh condition. Next, the order is sent out to their lorries to the secondary landing bases in Klang Valley, and it is then picked up to be delivered to the customer’s home.
“We take pride in delivering our seafood from dock to door within 48 hours, and we’re proud to say we’ve worked out a seamless process!” David exclaimed with pride.
Even if weather conditions aren’t favourable for fishing, David insists that they won’t face much of a problem as they have over 10 fishing boats sailing at different parts of the sea at various time frames.
“Bad weather won’t hamper all parts of the sea at the same time, what more at different time frames. This strategy ensures that it is highly unlikely our operations will be affected in any way,” he added.
However if in the worse case scenario where weather conditions will affect the operations, Fish For It will delay orders for two days at most, rather than sourcing from untrusted docks.
No Fishy Business
Prices for their offerings range from RM7.50 for a 500 gram pack of curut (sardines) to RM495 for a 9 person steamboat set, containing fish fillet, squid, flower crabs, prawns and fish maw, among other things.
The delivery fees are RM9.90 for a minimum order of RM70. With any orders that are above RM180, the delivery fees will be waived completely.
So far, according to the team, business has been great for Fish For It as the initial response has been positive.
“In just 2 weeks, we’ve received close to 200 orders, catering to different markets and households—Chinese, Malay and Indian alike. It gives us great joy to hear positive feedback directly from our customers especially about how fresh our seafood tastes, and the different ways it is cooked,” said David. “Malaysia is a diverse country after all, and we’re proud of our rich mix of flavours!”
However, like many other online businesses, Fish For It’s biggest challenge is in educating customers. David added, “We explain to them in detail about purchasing fresh seafood online, how it works, and especially our flash-freezing process.”
Fish For It takes pride that they offer wild catches of over 30 types of ocean-fresh fishes and shellfishes found in our very own Malaysian waters. They will be planning to expand to even more landing bases not just in central Klang Valley areas, but the northern and southern part of West Malaysia too.
David hopes that with the business, Fish For It will be able to educate consumers enough about the true freshness of Sungai Besar seafood as most consumers don’t even know the extent of the various types of seafood available in our own waters.
Image Credit: Fish For It