Internet along with even faster smartphone penetration is creating a huge demand for different online portals to meet the increasing demand for online shopping.
Many local companies have now successfully launched different online portals in the past few years, but the potential in Pakistan is big enough to attract foreign names that are now increasing their footprint in the online market.
Rocket Internet, a German based internet incubator, is also expanding its presence in Pakistan by offering different portals to online customers. The company started its operations in Pakistan two years ago by launching Daraz.pk, the first e-commerce shopping portal. Since then, the company has launched five more portals which include Foodpanda.pk, EasyTaxi, Kaymu.pk, Lamudi.pk and Carmudi.pk.
“With 30 million internet and 15 million smart phone users, we see Pakistan as a market with excellent adoption rate for e-commerce business”, Koen Thikssen, Rocket Internet Managing Director, told The Express Tribune in an interview. “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.”
Rocket Internet already has its presence in over 50 countries, providing online solutions with over 100 companies. The company closely monitors different online portals successfully working in developed countries. The company looks into different economies to find countries where such services are not available and introduces such models after involving and training local human resource.
In Pakistan, even though one may finds several online portals catering different needs, Thikssen believes that the online shopping concept is still developing in Pakistan and a boom in this sector is yet to arrive.
“If we see that any model successfully working in a developed country is not present in Pakistan then we will definitely go for it. We think that such gaps are huge opportunities not only for our company but also for Pakistan.”
Thikssen claims that the six portals of their company operating in Pakistan are of the same standards as a developed country. The standards and services available for such portals are same across the board, under the same name, so anyone travelling from Pakistan to any part of the world may browse the same portal to avail similar services anywhere.
The company’s management reaches individual investors for financing new ventures. The initial investments and daily operational costs for six companies working in Pakistan are being made by different investors.
The company’s revenue generation for all ventures, according to Thikssen, is more than €3 billion. The company has over 25,000 employees all over the globe. In Pakistan, the company employs more than 250 employees for the six ventures currently operating.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd 2014.