‘Pakistan is the next global e-commerce market’

It is hard to operate in such market where requirement of fairness is unsatisfactory

LAHORE    -   Last month Cheetay.pk achieved a milestone as company raised 7.8 million dollars funds for the company which takes to their total raise to 11.6 million, which is actually biggest amounts raised in the start-ups industry.

The Nation talked excessively to Co-founder Cheetay.pk Ahmed Khan and he shared about company’s recent success as well as the challenges & future plans.

Ahmed Khan said, “I have been working in tech and e-commerce start-ups for the past 7 years. Cheetay.pk has raised money for technology. The future is of technology and it is one major thing which can give boost to the economy. We are hoping to receive support from the government and market.

What is the future of e-commerce in Pakistan?

E-commerce is at an early stage. The advantage that we have is that we have the biggest frontier markets. India is a big market, Brazil, Europe, Indonesia all these are taken. The next turn is ours. If we can get our macroeconomics and fundamentals right, in the market of 220 million, there will be phenomenal growth. Cross border opportunities are there. We can do skill development we can be a trade gateway.

Talking about Cheetay, we have created a very valuable team and with very little expenditure we penetrated the market. Our focus was on creating a team and does analytics. We are re-launching our app. It starts with the user journey, that they have fun using the app. The app will be launched in October. We are automating things; we have hired mathematicians who are writing algorithms for us, to make our service efficient. We are investing a lot to work on the growth standards.

Approximately how many industries do you cater?

Cheetay.pk started from food and we got on board all the restaurants. We are also doing grocery and make up along with pharmacy. We also experimented with books. Our concept is ‘Now Commerce’ which is instant delivery. Now the customers don’t have to wait for their orders for 2 or 3 days. With this if you place an order you should be receiving it within 45-60 minutes. If you study Amazon or Alibaba, these are the best companies in the world. Their entire focus is on logistics and how to make the delivery and fulfillment quick, accurate, painless and low cost.

What is the difference between your delivery cost and other companies cost?

Cheetay.pk is definitely the cheapest as we have made it a point to make it the cheapest. There are different ways to go about it. For example in high density areas the frequency is more for riders, which reduces the unit cost if we give him 3 burgers instead of 1 burger which has to be delivered either on the same road or within 1 kilometer distance. The cost will then be 1/3. So this is what we do to improve our unit economics and stats. One is density and the other is matching.

Cheetay.pk is also launching in Peshawar and Faisalabad next month. The list is not difficult to jot down.  Now we can easily use Google Maps which makes the grid, you just have to put the pins of restaurants in. As the user data is collected it enhances the efficiency.

Do you face any challenges relating to security and privacy of data?

We have invested a lot of money on technology. We have this hierarchy of expenses which is technology, human resource and then marketing. We have used the best technology in Pakistan to make our platform. If you look at the output it’s according to the global world standard. Now everything is documented, white papers are available along with research. The data is not leaked. The hackers attack the whole world, we cannot say that it’s impossible but our focus is to ensure that this does not happen at all. Despite such efforts if something happens, it’s unfortunate. We are well prepared in this department.

What are your views or suggestions on customer satisfaction?

Satisfying customers is a little difficult especially on food. One new term is invented “Hangry” which is a combination of hungry and angry and it is considered one of the worst emotions in the world. 90 percent of our deliveries are on time. Voice of those 10 percent late deliveries is heard the most.

The news for Cheetay’s funding of 7.8 million has been going around and people are posting negative comments on that even. Our office and operations show the amount of money we have been spending. We have been working very hard and we have brought foreign exchange as well. It’s hard to operate in such market where the requirement of fairness is unsatisfactory.

On a positive note we are growing. We measure our return rate, which is measuring how many times have the customer returned to order again. We lose money on one transaction. If we want to earn profit then that customer has to return.

Do you have any facilities on government level?

We are engaged with Punjab Board of Investment and trade the most, which is a little odd considering that we are a technology business, our affiliation should be with the IT industry or the e-commerce industry. Jahanzeb Burana, the CEO of Punjab board of investment and trade is very helpful and he is actually the one leading the fight. He is coming up with the right framework to take to the federal government.

Tell us about the draft which is being worked on related to e-commerce?

It focuses on technology start-ups. Not only technology start-ups mostly it funds private equity and venture capital firms. The money will go to the investment arms. So there is no regulation for them too. We have to consider that to along with our tech start-ups. If you look at the mandate of investment and trade, FDI is needed. FDI will come in VC’s which will invest in tech start-ups. So it was very important to complete the chain. So they are working on both regulation for financial institutions and technology start-ups.

Is there is liaison with universities? What do you do for human resource?

Students are not trained at schools or universities. If we train that population, it will become the most valuable resource. Instead of resource train, if all of these become productive the size of our economy will increase.

Are the riders target based or on salary?

It is a mixture. They have a fixed salary and they get paid based on their performance. We were paying them monthly, then we started giving those 2 weeks later and now we give them weekly.

“We will have to because otherwise the demand will not be fulfilled. Food works on peak times. So this is what we want. That people come and work on peak times. The advantage will be that people will choose their own hours along with the area,” he said.


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