In 5 years, e-commerce will be $10 bn industry in Pakistan; Deputy CEO, Telenor

Irfan Wahab Khan talking e-commerce
Irfan Wahab Khan, Deputy CEO Telenor Pakistan

Not long ago, Internet was for privileged people in our society but today, with the growth of broadband in country and technologies like 3G and 4G, the internet has become a part of our lives. More than 30 million people are enjoying the mobile and fixed broadband in Pakistan at present.

An economic revolution seems not far away in the country. The game has started, and the players like Telenor Pakistan are playing a pivotal role in improving the digital landscape in the country.

Currently, the entire e-commerce industry in Pakistan values at $ 100 million but in five years, it will become a $ 10 billion industry, Irfan Wahab Khan, Deputy CEO of Telenor convincingly stated while talking to More at Telenor Digital Festival 2016

He was of the view that e-commerce industry in the country offers a tremendous opportunity that can only be dealt with if multiple stakeholders come and give a combined push at this moment.

Although the opportunities are immense, Khan acknowledged, but there were numerous challenges to face as the industry was in nascent phase.

“For e-commerce; payments, logistics, customer services, consumer rights and the distribution of products are the areas where all the stakeholders have to work innovatively,”  Khan stated.

“Payment is the first thing, and we are leading the landscape. Telenor Pakistan is working with all the players in the e-commerce, and we see that future of the industry is bright in Pakistan. The opportunity is enormous regarding the size of the market”, Khan added.

To a question on what Government should do for further multiplying the impact, Khan clearly emphasized on the rebates and comfortable tax regime for the industry.

“Countries where e-commerce has gone widespread, the governments have offered rebates and tax relaxations in various areas for the prosperity of the industry,” Khan responded.

To a question about payment solutions, Khan highlighted NFC payment system which Telenor is rolling out at the moment was the state of the art technology solution. However, due to the large retail footprint in the country, it will take time but with the help of EasyPay online payment solution, the pace can be improved.

The Escrow would be another initiative of Telenor Pakistan for raising the trust of consumers on e-commerce in Pakistan.

There is always an element of distrust for the e-commerce customers in Pakistan from the product’s quality point of view. There is a fear in the mind of the customer that if he/she is going to receive the same product that seller has promised online which is also a matter of discouragement for someone to buy online.

“With the help of Escrow, the seller will only receive the payment upon the satisfaction of buyer,” Khan described.

Khan hoped that Telenor Pakistan is playing its part in the areas of education, health, and financial inclusion. The company has the vision of leading the digital landscape of the country through innovation and creativity.

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