In the last few years, there has been a steady popularity of online shopping owing to the ease and convenience for the consumers. With the second wave of COVID-19 on a global surge, the popularity and number of visits to the physical brick and mortar stores have been gradually decreasing. The constant lockdowns and increasing number of cases have forced the shops to be closed and the shoppers to stay home. Situations have worsened and experts believe that enterprises in the micro, small and medium (MSME) sector are on the verge of collapsing. Many of these MSMEs and service providers have recorded sales at an all-time low with an immediate need for intervention to bounce back. The time has come for MSME enterprises to change and adapt their models to accommodate e-commerce platforms. Doing this will not only increase their momentum on sales and increase revenue streams but also increase customer reach by targeting a wider array of customers.
One To Watch has taken the initiative of tapping into the digital arena through a collaboration with Daraz. An interactive session facilitated by Daraz was organized to support the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 MSME Fund. Daraz is Nepal’s leading e-commerce platform, with presence in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well. The usual barrier for traditional businesses to get into the online arena is the hassle and complexity perceived by the owners. This information gap was addressed in the interactive session facilitated by Ms. Hasina Maharjan. She is the team lead of Business Development at Daraz Nepal and shared her experiences in the session. She gave a brief about the end-to-end process of getting on boarded into Daraz and talked about the benefits in terms of increasing brand visibility for the enterprises.
Companies attending the session came from diverse sectors ranging from trading to manufacturing to services. One of the major outcomes from the session was the announcement made by Daraz to waive its initial 3 months commission. Sharing the sentiment of OTW for helping MSMEs, Daraz offered to waive the initial charges for the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 MSME Fund. One such beneficiary of the fund who was present in the session was Laxmi Dhital from Laxmi Handicrafts. When asked about her experience of the session she answered, “I really appreciate these interactive sessions facilitated by OTW, an additional revenue source is always welcome, and I thank Daraz for offering to waive the initial 3 months commission”.