Sri_Lankan

“No More Excuses! E commerce is a DO or DIE for Lankan Businesses” – Dulith Herath

Sri Lanka’s e-com pioneer Dulith Herath says in exclusive interview discussing how his network of online retail facilitators, from ‘Kapruka’ to the latest ‘Grasshoppers’, gives Sri Lankan businesses everything they need to ace the online retail game.

“Sri Lankan businesses need to take a good look at how dinosaur enterprises were affected in bigger markets across the world. They were big, once relevant but completely outdated when the digital revolution happened and the online buying culture erupted. It became a fast downfall to those dinosaurs. But, we don’t have to repeat the same mistakes here. There’s room to change, but not much time. So, now is the time you need to get behind this, before it’s too late,” says Dulith Herath. As the man who pioneered the ecommerce sector in Sri Lanka, Herath has a wealth of wisdom to offer any business on how to get their online game right. Right now, he has just completed what he calls ‘Sri Lanka’s first complete e commerce facilitator network’. For years now, Herath has been working in developing the country’s ecommerce sector through his own ventures like Kapruka and Grasshoppers; going as far as meeting Asia’s e-com king Jack Ma of Alibaba. Sharing more on this, Herath joined Daily FT for an exclusive interview where he discussed the future of e-tail, how Sri Lankan businesses are losing out by not tapping into the online marketplace, and why there are no more excuses left for local businesses to get their e commerce game on point. “It’s a do-or-die really,” he says.

“It’s not even a question to ask whether e commerce revolution will happen in Sri Lanka; it’s just a question of when, and it’s already happening”

Dulith has studied the e-commerce landscapes in markets all over the world, from US, Canada, India, China to Thailand, observing the common traits. He pointed out that everywhere, the online buying phenomenon was welcomed at different paces— but surely and most definitely, it was always welcomed by consumers to eventually dominate the everyday purchasing habits. “It’s not to say that people will never go into a shop, but traditional retail will only survive at the more experiential end of the spectrum. For everyday shopping people will always resort to convenience, and online is hard to beat in this matter.” Herath also added that in every country, the entry of a giant player with major investments would bring about a significant ‘hockey-stick’ spike in the e commerce sales causing the entire sector to grow rapidly. “We’ve seen this in every country, from Amazon to Flipkart… Because when investment comes, the concessions to convert consumers into adapters become possible, and once they convert, the it’s a matter of continuing the habit. In Sri Lanka, this happened too, and the ripples of this are felt across the entire chain…and this is exactly what I hope will happen more often here with big companies like Softlogic being present. The share that investors can also gain is massive, because they’re breaking new paths here.” He assures that it’s only a matter of time for Sri Lankan businesses to realize that without e commerce, they’re not even scratching the surface of the possibilities available in the worldwide markets. “Accessibility to the online market is there now, the question is, are you ready to work towards it?”

“The idea that the markets in the South Asian region are not ready is a myth. About 15% of the Indian market is online. It’s only 22% even in the US.”

“If you look at the biggest retailers here in Sri Lanka, they’re not online. And when I say online, I mean really online. For most, getting online is a matter of adding a shopping cart to their website, cutting a ribbon and a cake, releasing a press story and waiting for something to happen. And when nothing happens, they fire the team,  start again, maybe give a discount, and have the customers flock, take the discount and never return…so it will keep dying this natural death, and they give it up saying the market is not ready. It doesn’t work like that. For me, even if 99% of my retail is brick-and-mortar, I will still go after developing that 1% because that’s the future. You need to get into it, and be serious about it.”

Herath explains that for e commerce to really work and become a success for a company, it takes the business leaders to understand that it is the future. With global statistics pointing out that online marketplace will only continue to boom, bringing in new accessibility and market shares from every corner of the world, it seems only obvious that e commerce will be the most popular form of buying and selling tomorrow. “Leaders need to motivate their teams to keep digging at it; keep investing; keep analysing the data; keep communicating with the customer…only then, it will begin to happen. And if you invest in this now, when the primary commercial channel becomes e commerce in the very near future, you will still be in the game.”

“And remember, the world is your competition now…”

Hearth spins the conversation to zoom in on another point of view. What does radical accessibility mean to the consumers here? Will Sri Lankan consumers stay loyal to local brands that don’t take the online retail world seriously, when the same or better products are available from abroad, at the click of a button? “It’s not just the Sri Lankan businesses having access to the consumer markets across the world. It’s the other way round too… our businesses need to remember that the local consumers now have access to products from every corner of the world. They can just order what they want, and have it shipped from the other corner of the world, right to their doorstep—especially with ventures like Grasshopper that we just started where last mile delivery becomes simplified and extremely economical. So what’s stopping your consumers from switching to a international competitor now?”

Herath adds that local retailers who go online and maintain their presence in the e commerce sphere will stay at the top of the consumer mind as people spend more and more of their time focused on screens.

“Everything you need to make e commerce work in Sri Lanka is there. There are no more excuses for failing at preparing your business for the inevitable future.”

Herath has connected an entire network of businesses and collaborators that can help any company to start their e commerce success story in Sri Lanka. He says that everything from infrastructure builders to delivery is now available in the country, leaving no room to hold back on the exponential growth that online retail world offers retailers. “You cannot say that there are no payment gateways in Sri Lanka—it’s there; you cannot say that there is no consumer adaptation here in the island—it’s clearly there; you cannot say there are no last mile delivery—companies like Grasshoppers are international award-winning experts at it. So, Sri Lankan retailers really have no excuses to get their online game right. It’s the future of retail, and with everything you need available in the country, what are you waiting for? Go on, make your business future-proof.

Source- Daily FT- 22/1/2019

 

Posted by Curious Angel in Review Articles

For the Young at Heart Sri Lankans

Some super huggable soft toy options available in Sri Lanka

Is there a certain age limit for loving soft toys? if you have properly associated girls, you would know that even the most tight knit tomboyish girl, would also break a smile when she sees an adorably fluffy soft toy. Some might argue that it is a better gift than flowers, well it does last forever. There is a little girl in almost every girl refusing to grow up and this little girl will never stop loving soft toys and honestly there is no such thing as “ENOUGH TEDDIES”  to be frank “MORE IS BETTER”.

With Valentines around the corner, there might be some boyfriends or friends wondering what to get their significant other or potential match, getting a soft toy is always a safe bet, it does not disappoint, pair it with another gift and “Alas” you have the perfect bundle of joy anyone would like.

Depending on the personality of the girl, here are some fluffy gift options worth cuddling.

The “Fashionista”

Well she is indeed the best looking and most well dressed in the lot, she is envied by many girls because they want to be like her and she is the type of girl you are proud of because honestly she draws so much attention.The perfect teddy for your fashionista will be, Lilly  a fluffy yet outstanding teddy.

The “Playful” girl 

She is indeed the most famous and friendly girl and has every aspect of being the absolute perfect girl she is beautiful, attractive, charming, and has a good sense of humour. She is loved by anyone because everyone loves to have a hint of mischief in their lives.The perfect soft toy for this girl is, Mr Ted and we all know how Ted is.

The “Nerd”

Well she is the genius in the bunch who prioritizes studies over everything else, the best soft toy for this type of highly opinionated yet conservative girl would be  Venus the unicorn since she is a strong dreamer and is unique like a unicorn.

The “Motherly” girl

She is the perfect replica of your mother and is the perfect “wife” material girl as she is very mature and serious and has a tendency of looking out for the people around her like a mother hen, she would love to own Brownie Bear a big ball of fur waiting to be hugged.

The “Feminine” girl

She is the old fashioned typically “girly” person who LOVES teddies and Cute things, the perfect soft toy for her would be Cutie Pie Snuggle Bear because “Cutie Pie” has a demure nature unlike the other teddies.

The “Adventurous” girl

Well in simple words she is the Tomboy in the lot who is ready to do anything and she has a knack for challenging herself, she would love to  own the Bat Man Cuddly Toy since she tends to love more “Boyish” things.

The “Ambitious” girl

She is a born leader who prioritizes work over anything else, the best teddy for this type of girl is Snugly Bear well nothing is more “BOSS LADY” than this super cool teddy with the trollable heart.

The “Doubting” girl

She is forever doubting herself though she is amazingly talented. She tends to believe that she is a “Potato” and she would definitely love to own Peggy who is cute and cuddly.

Whatever the type of girl she is, make this Valentine a bit more cuddly and fluffy by gifting her a cute soft toy  on Kapruka.

If you have some more teddy bear suggestions for the special ladies out there do not forget to leave a comment below!

Posted by Curious Angel in Review Articles

Are you an Ethical eater residing in Sri Lanka?

A looking glass into ethical eating and Veganism in Sri Lanka

 

If you are reading this post veganism plays an integral part in your life or you are hoping to move away from the mostly ignorant habit of harming animals and embracing a more ethical food consuming habit. First of all it is important to know what being Vegan is and it is not the same thing as being a Vegetarian! A vegan is an individual who avoids to consume any form of animal product which includes milk and bees honey. It is truly a very drastic lifestyle change and you might be wondering whether our local Sri Lankan Cuisine actually accommodate and support this lifestyle.

Sri Lankan cuisine is known to be perfectly spiced with coconut milk or any form of coconut based product used in almost every dish, which is good news for vegans, Sri Lankan cuisine does not rely on animal based products to make the food extra tasty or better, even maldive fish or “Umbalakada” is not important because there are many more alternatives that can be used instead.

 

We Sri Lankans are proud of our food though we are a small and culturally diverse island, through time we have turned into the perfect culinary curry pot. The main ethnic groups are the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils and Moors of Arab descent. On top of this the Dutch and English colonial years have also left their influences. Altogether this has created an exciting variety of dishes that vary from region to region.

The best season for Vegans is the Mango and Jackfruit / “kos” season, we are blessed with some exotic fruits and vegetables that is not only delicious but really makes being a vegan enjoyable. So our message to all the Vegans out there is to embrace your lifestyle and enjoy some super tasty  Sri Lankan dishes.

Kapruka allows you to send some tasty homemade Sri Lankan dishes suitable for any lifestyle.
order on : Home Made

Posted by Curious Angel in Review Articles
Is Halal Important in Sri Lanka?

Is Halal Important in Sri Lanka?

I always wondered what the word “Halal” means, it appears at the back of packaging and especially at restaurants.When i researched on the true meaning of “Halal” i was surprised that it meant ‘permissible’ in Arabic where as per Islamic principles, the term Halal takes a specific, well-defined meaning where individuals who choose to adhere to Islamic law are expected to be concerned with the permissibility, or Halal aspect, of any human activity they wish to indulge in. This was indeed news to me as i always believed that Halal was only related to food and the sourcing of meat and was not very conscious of its important in Sri Lanka.

Coming back to my initial question “Is Halal Important?” YES INDEED! It is very important here in Sri Lanka as well, because we are living in a multi ethnic, multi religious country where we respect each other or else we should respect each other. Owing this reason, it is very important to accommodate information and details regarding Halal Certification and Halal Compliance for our Muslim friends.

Kapruka has a unique service where food items from Halal Certified Sri Lankan restaurants can be ordered and sent to love ones or just enjoyed by yourself.We offer food from;

Eastern Wok

which is the 1st Halal Restaurant in Sri Lanka which was started in 1992. They offer an array of Eastern dishes ranging from noodles to sizzling lobsters with an average cost of around Rs 3000 for 2 people.
Order on Eastern Wok

Mango Tree

A Halal certified Indian restobar famous for its North Indian Cuisine.LKR 3000 for two peopel (approx.)
Order Mango Tree

Indian Summer

Indian Summer has something to appeal to any palate and anyone being Halal certified as well offering a wide range of Authentic North Indian dishes. LKR 3500 for two people (approx.)
Order on Indian Summer

Urban Kitchen

Urban Kitchen offers 233 choices inspired by Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, European and Middle Eastern cuisines.LKR 3500 for two people (approx.)
Order on Urban Kitchen

Manhattan Fish Market

At the Manhattan Fish Market, our guests are served with lip-smacking American-style seafood.LKR 4500 for two people(approx.)
Order on Manhattan Fish Market
In conclusion it is important to be inclusive and we at Kapruka understand that perfectly. If you are feeling hungry or you want to surprise someone with a yummy meal, Kapruka got you covered.

Posted by Curious Angel in Review Articles, 0 comments