LAHORE: With the expansion of e-commerce in Pakistan, traditional ways of trading are changing too, and among others, automobile sector is one of them.
Carmudi, a venture of Rocket internet, the world’s largest incubator, is also benefitting from the growing e-commerce market of Pakistan. The company is operational in the country since January 2014 and is claiming a 200% month on month growth. It caters to all segments but is especially popular in the population segment under the age of 30.
“We target Pakistan with a clear vision to win this market; there is no point to be number two for us,” Carmudi global Managing Director Stefan Haubold told The Express Tribune. “Pakistani market has a potential to grow, especially after the spectrum auction for 3G and 4G has been successfully completed. This auction will not only benefit our portal but the business environment of the country in general. Modern way of doing business should have some requirements and for Pakistan, access to 4G spectrum is the first requirement.”
The company has raised $10 million from their investors a couple of months back only to penetrate more aggressively in Asian markets. The management is anxiously waiting for people to get access to 3G or 4G technology in Pakistan, after which they see a dramatic change for online business and intend to capture this opportunity. The company is ready to pump in the money required for the portal to access the top position.
Though the venture has some common Standard Operating Procedures which they implement in all countries but the portal adapts to the market. “There are many different things in different economies which need to be understood first. For instance, some markets are more inclined towards reconditioned cars than new ones and some are opposite. We understand the flexibility of the market and our local officials deal with the market sentiments accordingly,” he said.
Talking about the competition of automotive portals in Pakistan, Haubold said that they are in this market for six months only. Their competitors had an edge for being the first automotive portal in Pakistan. “We have a lot of ground to cover and still very long way to go. We have some issues but will fix them over the time.”
Carmudi is operational in 20 countries but for the management the Asian region (excluding India) is their biggest market because they make biggest impact in such markets. “The population of around 1 billion is the major reason; the younger population with an urge to adopt modern trends is another reason for us to spend aggressively in Asian markets,” said Haubold.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2014.
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