With the news of Pakistan Post entering the arena, 2019 looks all shades of promising for Pakistan’s e-commerce industry. On Saturday, the Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services, Murad Saeed inaugurated the first mobile application offered by the service. The application features complaint handling, track and trace, e-commerce, delivery and collection, tariff, post office locations, post codes and all other information about postal services.
Speaking at the occasion at the ECO Postal Staff College, the Minister highlighted that with the streamlining of its services, Pakistan Post is all set to expand its operations. Most notable of these expansions is the announcement to step into the e-commerce domain.
Saeed pledged that the public department is set to make an entry into the e-commerce business by January 15th, 2019. He highlighted that the government is already in talks with various brands for facilitating their business with a COD model. Saeed added:
“The Pakistan Post has the capacity and commitment to deliver for online vendors for their cash on delivery products with proof of delivery and prompt reconciliation of their payments. Many international web portal operators have shown their interest to enter into the Pakistani market with the Pakistan Post as their delivery partner.”
It is pertinent to point out that the work to develop Pakistan Post as a mobile finance company had been in progress since a couple of years now, and we’ve been covering the journey since the start. Rightly identified, given its size and reach Pakistan Post has a huge potential. The move can not only impact the local e-commerce industry, but it can potentially open up international markets to Pakistani e commerce players as well.
Furthering the agenda of e-commerce participation, Saeed shared that with an established network of 12,000 post offices across the country Pakistan Post is joining the country’s logistic market formally from 23rd March 2019. Pakistan’s logistics market is over $34.2 billion at present, and is currently growing at a rate of more than 18% per annum. This development scheduled for only a few weeks later, may translate into a direct death sentence for the lethargic and unchallenged logistic players in the e-commerce sector.
It is significant to point out that Pakistan Post also has a banking license and this, coupled with the new initiatives, can be a game changer for the Pakistan’s e-commerce sector in the coming days.
In addition to the e-commerce and logistics project launches lined up for 15 days from now, in January 2019, Pakistan Post on Saturday announced a couple of other initiatives starting right away. The mobile application has come with a tracking & tracing services via RFID stickers. Also initiated are a couple of pilot projects launched in multiple cities, which include:
72 hour Export Parcel Service
The current estimate of the parcel export market is close to $4 billion. At present this is being catered to by the local and international private couriers at insanely high rates. With no competition being offered by the public sector, it has been mostly a private monopoly. Under the new pilot project launching next week in three cities: Faisalabad, Lahore and Sialkot, Pakistan Post has made necessary arrangements to target the market with a commitment to deliver internationally in 72 hours. The service would be formally inaugurated by January 15, 2019.
Home Pick Up Service
As a pilot project, this service is being offered in 10 cities to begin with. It aims especially to facilitate females & female entrepreneurship from home.
Microfinance Loan Disbursement
For small businesses operating via microfinances obtained through Khushhali Bank, the Pakistan Post is facilitating the disbursement of loans in 10 cities, as part of the pilot project.
The revenue share of Pakistan Post is expected to be Rs100 billion per annum, after the new initiations. It is indeed commendable that for the department presently facing a Rs12.5 billion annual deficit, the government is showing all the resolve to transform the situation not only for the said department, but using it as an agent, for the entire business sector of the country by bringing forth a customer friendly, self-sustaining and technology driven entity in the digital world of today.
It is a heartening development for the local business sector which gravely suffers through e-commerce COD reconciliation, logistics limitations and payment gateway restriction issues. With the first two concerns being tackled by Pakistan Post, 2019 looks bright for Pakistan economy.
Featured Photo: APP.