Widely recognized as Pakistan’s largest online marketplace, Daraz isn’t just about online shopping- it’s a medium bringing consumers and merchants together. Meet Ahmed Razzak, one of thousands of vendors registered on Daraz.pk, as he sheds light on the transformative success of his mobile accessory shop MoboPro.
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Ahmed Razzak seen at the Daraz warehouse
A veil of intangibility hangs around e-commerce processes. E-commerce, while being omnipresent, can, on occasion feel opaque. What actually goes on? While the integral triad of consumer, marketplace and vendor is well established, we thought Mobile Week 2017 an opportune time to attach a face to these sellers.
We know, for instance, that over 5 million visits were recorded on Daraz during the week long super-sale that was Mobile Week. Transactions increased 175 times as compared to an average day, with over PKR 10 million given away in discounts. While all these figures are astounding, we decided to speak directly to a top vendor- those vital stakeholders of the e-commerce chain- to see their human impact. Meet Ahmed Razzak.
‘I left Chartered accountancy to embrace an e-commerce future at Daraz. I didn’t like taking orders. I do love moving orders, though. In the hundreds, on the daily: those are my kind of orders. This is my story.’
Ahmed is a qualified Chartered Accountant. A young, unassuming millennial techie who feels entirely at home at the venue of our meeting: the Daraz warehouse. Like many of the readers here, he’s also a Daraz customer. His first purchase on Daraz.pk was an Infinix Hot Note. Unable to find any accessories for the phone in the market, Ahmed recognized a gap and sought to answer the call. He left the daily grind of his PKR 12,000 a month Chartered Accountancy job behind to enter the less regimented but no less rigorous world of e-commerce. A novice at first, he set up his company- MoboPro- in 2016.
MoboPro started single-handedly at Ahmed’s home. He stored inventory in his room. Now, with robust support from Daraz, MoboPro has secured its position as one of Daraz’s leading vendors in mobile accessories. Ahmed adds: My Daraz trajectory begins at the point of the consumer. It begins with me. MoboPro is consumer-led. You’re talking to that (Daraz) consumer now. He just happens to be on the other end of the Daraz ecosystem. I’ve come full-circle.
MoboPro began in a single apartment room with an inventory of 50. From these humble, hands-on beginnings, Ahmed now commands an impressive inventory of 50,000 plus mobile accessories.
We assume he has been slogging away on building MoboPro for years. ‘One year’, he says, lifting a solitary finger for emphasis. One year in and he is scaling up business, the people in his employ making double what he used to as a CA.
The kind of growth MoboPro has experienced in the span of a year alone is indicative of how rousing e-commerce prospects are. As he has moved up in life, with order volumes at Daraz.pk increasing at breakneck speeds, MoboPro has had to move out of its room into a warehouse at Abdullah Haroon Road.
MoboPro began in a single apartment room with an inventory of 50. A year later, Ahmed commands inventory in excess of 50,000 mobile accessories ___________________________________________________________________________________
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MoboPro digital storefront on Daraz.pk
That’s dizzying progress in a very short time. Indeed, when Ahmed registered MoboPro on Daraz, he was the sole supplier of mobile accessories. Now he has company. The proliferation of competitors incentivizes innovation and course-correction. He agrees that with rapidly growing portals like Daraz, vendors have no choice but to stay on their toes.
Fortunately, for Ahmed, this is where MoboPro Vendor Manager, Ali Chandio, steps in. Vendor Managers serve an oversight role, providing operational guidance and support. This year’s Mobile Week is proof enough: MoboPro’s sales shot up 300% of what they normally move on a regular day, exponentially boosting the company’s visibility and winning them attention on the e-market leader’s heavily frequented website.
In conversation, Ahmed conveys the demeanor of a self-made man who has earned his own way in life. His is a success borne not only of ironclad determination, but of the existing and ever growing e-commerce capacities of Daraz.pk. “Daraz has the platform and resources. Branding power, clout, and connectivity. Vendors like me have the goods. We have market-sense. We intuit and intercept demand before it comes knocking. Daraz provides enterprising sellers like me an ecosystem that brings vendors to the customers and customers to the goods. It’s synergistic. If you can harness it.”
If. So there’s a catch! A caveat. “Well, ecommerce (Daraz) is rapidly growing in Pakistan. It’s a fast-moving company operating in a fast-moving, largely fluid sphere of commerce. You’ve got to ride the crest of the wave. Or you’ll miss it and find yourself stranded on the shore. And boy are offline shores drying up. What we do is the future. No turning back.”
Ahmed’s bullish sense of prospect is contagious. He’s right. You can’t land-lock a digital landscape.
He is candid about the challenges too. With an e-commerce leader like Daraz expanding at the rate it is, there are bound to be operational delays and the occasional hurdles. “Listen, I’d be kidding if I said there haven’t been any challenges or uphill days. There have been. The team and I will argue it through, but what’s important is his willingness to work things out and land them to a place of resolution. Daraz is providing you invaluable operational support. I’ve learnt resilience in my time here. It’s vital. But you’ll reap out of the marketplace, what you put into it,”
All things considered, not bad for an unemployed chartered accountant. 😉
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