While the total economic impact of the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic in Pakistan is yet to be gauged, it has become evident that the small-and-medium enterprises (SME) sector – which contributes 40% to the country’s GDP and 80% of total non-agricultural employment – has borne the brunt of the downturn in commercial and trade activity.
In order to revive the economy and further mitigate the impact of the pandemic, it is critical to reinvigorate the SME sector. In order to contribute to the efforts, Daraz, the leading online marketplace in the country, has launched HamQadam – a program through which the platform is inviting businesses across the country to set up their digital ventures on Daraz.
Under the program, Daraz has promised to charge 0% commission to SMEs on the sales made from the platform for the months of May and June which amounts to a subsidy of PKR 45 million. Daraz is also offering other business support including free-of-cost training on Daraz University (https://university.daraz.pk) & express sign-ups so that new businesses can start selling on Daraz as early as within 2 days (https://www.daraz.pk/sell-on-daraz)
Other support initiatives within the program include:
– Free marketing promotions so that entrepreneurs’ Daraz shops receive more visitors.
– Discounted packaging material.
– Dedicated one-on-one support to every new seller to help them set up their online shops.
Daraz’ core mission is to make it easy for anyone to do business in the digital age and the platform has always focused on education to empower sellers and businesses. The platform provides free-of-cost training to new and existing sellers through Daraz University, an online portal which has recently partnered up with KSBL to curate a course that will help businesses optimise their digital ventures and learn about e-commerce operations.
Daraz is confident that the HamQadam program will help thousands of SMEs get back on their feet by leveraging the increased e-commerce activity and reaching millions of Daraz customers across the country.
Daraz is encouraging all businesses that wish to transition online to reach out to the company in the following format: “Daraz” space “Name” to 7575. Alternatively, they can register on the platform’s seller sign up page.