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E-commerce can account for '70pc transactions of goods and services'

FE DESK | September 29, 2020 00:00:00

70 percent transactions of goods and services could be done on e-commerce platforms which presently stands at only 5.0 per cent, said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director & CEO of Robi Axiata Ltd while elaborating on the huge potential of e-commerce.

However, he also said that proper use of state-of-the-art technology is needed to move forward in this promising sector.

He said this at a webinar titled 'Empowering E-Commerce to Accelerate Economic Growth' jointly organized by e-CAB and Robi on Sunday.

"It is pivotal to use artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning mechanism, VR, AR etc. technology in e-commerce in order to ensure customer satisfaction. In this regard, we should not lag behind the outside world, but we should be in a leading role," said Robi's CEO.

Mahtab also emphasized on ensuring the quality of products in order to increase the confidence of consumers in digital payments. He also expressed that visual chat could be helpful in following the example of Alibaba and eBay.

Robi's CEO emphasizes on product diversity as well. He said that 80-85% of the products sold by e-commerce platforms in our country are gadgets and the remaining 15-20% is fashion related products. But everything is sold abroad in e-commerce.

"We need to move slowly towards that goal. 85 percent of e-commerce platform products are sold in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna alone. In this case, there is an opportunity to bring the entire country under e-commerce by further improving the supply chain management," he opined.

Applauding the Digital Commerce Policy 2018, the local CEO of the multinational telecom company called for an emphasis on its implementation. He also highlighted the importance of providing exemptions of VAT-tax-duty etc. and incentives for new entrepreneurs in the development of e-commerce.

Robi's Managing Director and CEO also hope to add e-Cab to the next phase of R-Ventures, a platform for building digital entrepreneurship.

Speaking at the webinar, Shomi Kaiser, President of e-CAB, said "The e-commerce need and demand has increased because of Corona pandemic. It is uncertain when this situation will end. So we need to keep e-commerce robust in order to keep our economy afloat. It has also created a huge opportunity for mobile financial services or MFS."

"Next year we will celebrate 50 years of independence. We want to highlight the success and progress of e-commerce in our country then. E-commerce is not the only economic advancement; it is also having a positive impact on the financial, social and cultural empowerment of women," she said.

Mohammad Sahab Uddin, vice-president of e-CAB, said the demand for e-commerce has increased in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. E-commerce platforms have played a major role in providing food and medicine during lockdown period. This e-commerce has played a big role in delivering the products to the customers during the mango season. During Eid, customers also bought sacrificial cows from e-commerce platforms.

As a result, the people of the village have also become involved in e-commerce. Due to the recent rise in the price of onion, we have delivered the product to the customers at a fair price through an agreement with TCB, he informed.

"The development of digital economy is necessary for economic progress in today's world. To this end, there is no alternative to take our country's digital entrepreneurs forward", he further added.

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