Pakistan promises huge potential: Carmudi co-founder

LAHORE - Stefan Haubold, Co-founder Carmudi, is in Pakistan from Germany to officially launch, an online vehicle marketplace which brings buyers and sellers together. He spoke exclusively to The Nation about his venture and the future of eCommerce in Pakistan. Following are the extracts of his interview.

Tell us a bit about your expertise and your background.

SH: Before having tasted entrepreneurship, I worked as a consultant at Roland Berger and Allianz. But then I decided that I wanted to take on more responsibility, be in the driver’s seat. In 2012, I founded ePetWorld, an eCommerce business catering to the petfood segment that grew significantly in Germany. Carmudi is more about replicating success on a global level. My passion for entrepreneurship has driven me to take bigger strides and make an impact.

How has your visit to Pakistan been?

SH: My trip to Pakistan was a unique experience. People here are very friendly and hospitable. With 13 million vehicles on streets and 70 per cent of the 200 million people below 30 years of age group, Pakistan promises huge potential. We have an excellent Carmudi team that is just as much local as global, having studied at best schools in Pakistan and abroad.

Do you feel local experts have a good grip on e-commerce in Pakistan?

SH: Yes they do. When I speak to people in Pakistan about the e-commerce you know they have the same competencies and knowledge as people in Europe or the US. Though the market is still in its infancy, it will certainly grow by leaps and bounds.

Tell us what is Carmudi exactly doing?

SH: To sum up in one line, Carmudi is an online car classifieds where individuals or car dealers can buy and sell motorcycles, cars and commercial vehicles. Our value proposition lies in the quality services that we offer by facilitating the transaction process, making it easier and transparent for our users.
What we offer at Carmudi is absolute transparency, something that a buyer taking a stroll on Jail Road in Lahore cannot get. Customers can compare 7,000 vehicles in a single go. There is a strong demand for such platforms in emerging markets. Therefore, with a rapidly increasing internet penetration, our move into Pakistan is a logical consequence.

Do you feel the lack of 3G technology in Pakistan affects the world of e-commerce?

SH: The lack of 3G technology does impede the growth of e-commerce in Pakistan. But the current auction of 3G and 4G licenses will give the Pakistani market a strong push.

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