Q-commerce enters Pakistan

Rapid growth of e-commerce encourages firms to innovate

Usman Hanif December 16, 2021


With the e-commerce segment of Pakistan growing by leaps and bounds, enterprises are now looking to capitalise and excel in other similar areas.

In this regard, a local startup has decided to step up and tap q-commerce (quick commerce) for the first time in Pakistan.

The Karachi-based startup Krave Mart has already succeeded in luring the interest of investors as the company announced pre-seed funding of around $6 million.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Krave Mart CEO Kassim Shroff underlined that the e-commerce market of Pakistan was growing rapidly and in the next three to four years, q-commerce segment would flourish as well.

“Our goal is to become the leader in this division,” he remarked.

The aim to be a pioneer in q-commerce by delivering products within 10 minutes seems pretty difficult considering the infrastructure and traffic constraints, he said.

The startup is eyeing to meet the expectations of tech-savvy people, the CEO said, adding that the customers “are response-driven and prefer instant deliveries”.

Giving details about the mechanism, the CEO highlighted that the enterprise would be setting up dark stores – storage locations dedicated to rapid online order fulfillment – in different areas of the city.

A dark store in one area would not deliver orders to another area which would shorten the delivery time, he said.

Regarding the radius, he mentioned that a dark store would cover an area of 2.5 kilometers, which would enable the deliveries within 10-minute time frame.

Read Pakistan's Krave Mart raises $6m in pre-seed funding

“Pakistan e-commerce is booming,” he acknowledged.

Presenting comparison, he underlined that currently, Pakistan’s e-commerce industry was standing where India stood around 10 years ago.

“However it will not take us 10 years to reach the current level of the Indian e-commerce segment,” he projected.

Pakistan’s conducive ecosystem would help the country reach India’s level within the next three years, he added.

Shroff termed the offline market real competition of the platform and emphasised the need to tap those customers that visit local stores for groceries.

“The startup aims to cover 100% of the population of Karachi by end of January 2022 and expand to other cities and countries as well,” the CEO said.

“We plan to have around 100 stores in Pakistan in the next 12 months.”

The q-commerce would redefine the way customers shop for groceries in Pakistan, one of the startup investors said.

“We have benchmarked and invested in similar models globally and believe Pakistan is a market ripe for disruption.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2021.

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