In today’s interview, we have the co-founder Ari Pham of WatchSignals.com which is a global platform which is the Luxury Watch Comparison Platform, powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Hi Ari, thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule.
Ari, can you share a bit about you and why did you join the WatchSignals.com?
I was born in Vietnam and given that it is still a Frontier Market, I was extremely lucky to get a Bachelor’s degree from RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City, which is recognized for its excellent education programs in leadership and innovation in technology. This allowed me to start my entrepreneurial journey quite early in my life and I was involved already in a few start-ups. But when I came across 2 guys from Switzerland and Germany which approached me if I want to join them to start building a luxury watch search engine powered by AI/ML and Big Data, I got immediately fascinated by this idea. Now, 16 months later we are up and running….but its still early days and far away from vision how it eventually should look like
Can you explain what is WatchSignals.com?
Our aim was to enhance the shopping experience for watch lovers. We realized the global luxury watch market is very segmented and not very transparent. Watch buyers would be thrilled to see the best price for their dream watch with just a few mouse clicks from a trustworthy source which also has this particular watch in stock. Given that there was nobody offering that service, we started building exactly such a platform, powered by AI/ML and Big Data. At the same time we realized that we are able to provide interesting market intelligence to luxury watch brands and dealers, since we are collecting an enormous amount of data.
As a tech entrepreneur, what is the long term vision with the company?
Well, we started with luxury watches, but our long term plan is to expand into other luxury segments, such as jewelry, cars, yachts, private jets and luxury homes. We really want to become the “go-to-place” for an exclusive audience which is looking for luxury products and services.
What are the biggest challenges?
Since we are a technology start-up, finding the right talents is and will be an ongoing challenge, but so far we can’t complain and we were extremely lucky to find talented professionals in various parts of this world. This is one of the great advantages when you run a location independent business, such as we do.
Another challenge in the luxury watch industry is the digital revolution and to transform your business into a hybrid model, combining online and offline, catering for the needs of the upcoming generation Z and the millennials.
Do you feel that the luxury market segment will be only growing in the upcoming years?
Certainly, according to a recent report from Bain & Company, aggregated luxury goods sales in 2018 were around USD 292 billion and we expect this market to grow further for the next few years.
Being a data-driven company, what are the interesting facts about the luxury watch market you can share with us?
We only went live in summer last year, but according to our initial observations Rolex, Omega and Breitling are the most popular brands. And the most searched watch models are Rolex Daytona 116520, Rolex Datejust 1601 and Rolex Submariner 116610LV (Hulk). But in today’s times, influencers and movies play a very important role when it comes to impacting prices and popularity. For example, only a few days ago a US Air Force veteran was a guest of the famous US TV series of PBS called “Antiques Roadshow” and found out that his Rolex Oyster Cosmograph 6263 which he bought for USD 345.97 in 1974 when he was stationed in Thailand, is now worth around USD 700,000 because Paul Newman was wearing the same model in the movie “Winning”
How does AI (Artificial Intelligence) will help consumers in the luxury watch market?
Especially when you buy a preowned watch, such as a Rolex Daytona 116520, thanks to AI you can find which one is better value for money if you compare for example a 5-year-old versus a 3-year-old Daytona. We also plan to offer our clients a price prediction model, powered by AI, which will be very helpful to find out which particular watches are interesting to invest in.
Are you planning to expand into other luxury segments?
Absolutely, as mentioned before, our long term plan is to expand into other luxury segments, such as jewelry, cars, yachts, private jets, and luxury homes. We really want to become the “go-to-place” for an exclusive audience that is looking for luxury products and services.
Ari, thank you for sharing your experience and visions with our readers.I wish you success in 2020 for WatchSignals.com
We’ll catch up soon with a more interesting update.
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