KARACHI: Since the Covid-19, Pakistan’s economy has been under tremendous pressure. According to the Ministry of Planning, there has been a loss of jobs worth 12.3 to 18.5 million, increasing the unemployment costs on the already strained economy. A stop on the traditional mode of purchasing via brick and mortar stores due to the lockdown has led to the economy and industries to come to a screeching halt. Certainly, businesses have faced huge losses which will take a while to recover.
These harsh times have led people into managing their expenses accordingly; where a normal family used to spend more of their income on food and on their children’s education, the coronavirus has now changed completely shifting the household budget towards medical expenses. The current Covid-19 situation has paved the way for an online future in Pakistan. In recent times it has been observed that there has been an increase in the number of home-based businesses such as home-based food business. Where big restaurants encountered difficulties in covering up their overheads, the demand of home-based food businesses have surged. The Covid-19 led to many well-known eateries withdrawing from the market as they were not able to keep up with the pandemic situation in the country. Furthermore, clothing brands have also been adversely affected. Normal walk-ins are no longer allowed unless the required SOPs are followed, while many are entertaining customers on an appointment basis. There has been a drastic increase in online purchase.
All these advancements will take time to grow as people get more and more dependent on ecommerce. Pakistan needs to make the most of this opportunity by strengthening its entrepreneurs and investing in online systems.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2020.
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