KARACHI - To support the development of a vibrant online culture, Pakistan’s first e-commerce portal Daraz.pk hosts 1.2 million unique visitors on its website every month and offers a portfolio of over 400 brands and 16,000 products.

This was stated by Muneeb Maayr, the co-founder of Daraz.pk while talking The Nation in an interview.

Incorporated in 2012, Daraz.pk is an online shopping portal featuring apparel, accessories, shoes and beauty products for both men and women, as well as a wide variety of electronics. It delivers both internationally as well as across 200 cities and towns in Pakistan. Daraz.pk is part of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo, leading internet platform in Asia, supporting some of the top internet companies in the region.

“We’re lucky to be given the opportunity to take this market out of its infancy into something scalable, where businesses across the country regardless of geographic limitations are able to sell to customers nationwisde. This has not been done before, and we feel we are going to transform B2C (business-to-consumer) in Pakistan,” Muneeb Maayr said.

“Daraz.pk is aiming to introduce a seismic shift in the minds of the Pakistani consumer; not only do we want them to purchase from us, we also want them to be aware of what is trending globally with regards to fashion styles, colours and hues,” he said. He further said: “The company also maintains a blog regularly populated with both fashion and technology reviews, in an effort to educate our customers about potential products they wish to purchase.” “One of the biggest successes that Daraz.pk has enjoyed since launch has been that major retail brands have chosen to partner with us to build their online stores. This trend is facilitated by a rising global interest in e-commerce, as well as the perception that there will be a massive spike in the number of digitally-connected consumers in Pakistan with the rollout of 3G/4G technology.

“For brands who wish to partner with us, the process is very simple and mutually advantageous, as we take care of the entire order fulfilment process on their behalf, thereby negating the need for them to invest in systems, software and human resources in order to cater to online consumers,” Muneeb Maayr pointed out.

“The advantages to online shopping are innumerable – the store is open 24/7, 365 days a year. We offered lowest prices in the market because we can take advantage of cost-saving mechanisms that traditional retail outlets cannot, creating value propositions for consumers and a hassle-free experience.

It was the first time that an FMCG company which has traditionally relied on driving sales through traditional channels like grocery stores and convenience shops started to explore the digital medium very seriously.

“E-commerce is expected to grow at a rapid pace, and for us the challenge is to keep ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Our aim is to replicate the success that T-Mall has had in China by becoming the destination of product search in the country. We have 200 employees today, but this number will grow significantly over the next year or two.”