It was an idea that was discussed during a job interview 10 years ago - an idea that was then challenged by a prominent businessman.
Yesterday, that challenge was not only fulfilled, it was bettered.
Cell City owner, Etuale Scanlan and his wife Angeline are the masterminds behind a new company called Samoa Market - an online shopping market place.
Launched at the Samoa Stationery and Books conference room at Togafu’afu’a, the new company is a place where local companies display their products for the people in Samoa and also overseas.
It also allows Samoans living abroad to pay for goods which can be supplied to their families and friends in Samoa.
During Etuale’s speech, he explained how Samoa Market came about during an interview 10 years ago.
“I had a job interview with a prominent business man at Palisi and it was during that interview that there was a discussion of his idea of an online marketplace for Samoa,” he said.
“I went to him with the idea of having one company that would supply local materials and he shook his head and he said to me, “Why are limiting yourself to just one company? Why not have ten companies? And fast forward ten years later to April 2015, the concept for Samoa Market was further developed."
“I enlisted the services of Kevin Schuster and together, we began the first of many uncomfortable visits to successful participating companies.
‘[And] I am excited to announce that today we have exceeded our target of ten companies and we now have fourteen of Samoa’s heavyweight companies selling their products on Samoa Market."
“And these companies are S.S.A.B., Ah Liki Wholesale, Apia Bottling, Bluebird Lumber and Hardware, Cell City, Eveni Carruthers, Farmer Joe, Lika’s Bargain, Pasefika Motors, Sai Motors, Samoa Realty, Samoa Spare Parts and Accessories, SOS and Toa Gas.”
He went on to say that the project has taken almost two years to develop and the reason being is that it was due to the complexities involved with the website development as well as the payment getaway.
“Not only that, but convincing many of our local companies to come on board has also taken some time,” he said.
“Samoa Market is just the same as other online market places however they are different because they are an online market place accessible from any internet capable mobile device.
“This is not a new concept but one that has been around for a while now. Worldwide examples of marketplaces ate Taobao (China), Amazon (USA), Fishfond (AUS, NZ).”
As to how long it took to build the website, Etuale said the designers were Zyber in New Zealand.
“Our consulting designers are Morgan Richards, The Design Embassy, Australia”
And the biggest challenge during the building of the website Mr. Scanlan said was finding the time to work on the project which began a year ago.
“Another challenge was trying to convince these local companies to sign up with Samoa Market even though many of them are established brands and do a lot of their own marketing and social media work,” he said.
He acknowledged the support from everyone who helped him make this project complete.
“I’d like to thank my parents Leasi Tommy Scanlan and Joyce Scanlan in Wellington, New Zealand, my wife Angeline, our web designer and consulting designer Morgan Richards in Australia, the marketing experts Kevin Schuster and his team and Jason Annandale."
“I also want to thank the consultants for free advice, Leasi Tommy Scanlan, Warwick Richards, Joe Lam, Henry Tunupopo, Nico Caffarelli, Macquarie Mailo and Lillian Timoteo."
“And last but not the least I want to thank S.S.A.B. for their support, the Managing Director Fiti Leung Wai and the team that we have been working very closely with over the past year.”
So if you want to promote your products online, call 29253 or email them on email@example.com or visit their office located in the Cell City branch at Vaimea.
They are also offering a free two month listing.
This includes a small description of the business as well as five photos.
They are currently listing about thirty companies for free.