In the past few years, eCommerce has become a potential sector in the developing economies of the world, especially India. On the similar lines, surprisingly Pakistan has also been considered as a potential market for eCommerce as said by Rocket Internet MD Koen Thikssen, reports Tribune.
Rocket Internet began its operations in Pakistan 2 years back. It currently operates with 6 ventures in the country. This includes Carmudi.pk (online car buying and selling portal), daraz.pk (online apparel marketplace), Easytaxi, foodpanda.pk, kaymu.pk (online marketplace) and Lamudi.pk (Real estate property marketplace). As said, the overall revenue generation for all ventures is more than Euro 3 Bn with over 250 employees.
“With 30 million internet and 15 million smartphone users, we see Pakistan as a market with excellent adoption rate for e-commerce business. The urge to adopt new online trends in Pakistan allows us to launch our products and it is being used by people, depicting the need for such platforms”, said Koen.
Internet retail started its journey in Pakistan in 1997 with brands like Liberty Books and Gift Express. Since then, the segment has evolved in much bigger manner with a potential to attract many foreign names. Also, there are no barriers for international retailers selling their products and services online.
Apart from Rocket Internet’s online portals, Classified site Craigslist and daily-deals site Groupon of the United States are replicated by OLX and DealsToday in Pakistan.
Other than online businesses, logistics industry have also seen a significant growth in the country, for. eg. the launch of BlueEx Courier in 2007. It is now a prime mode of delivering products with the facility of COD.
However, there are no official estimates available of overall online retail sales in the country as most transactions are settled by COD and third party payment gateways. Also, there is only one domestic payment gateway facilitated by UBL (United Bank Ltd), which processes Visa and MasterCard transactions.
Thus, in words of Koen, even though, in Pakistan, one may find several online portals catering different needs, the online shopping concept is still developing in Pakistan and a boom in this sector is yet to arrive.
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