Kaymu.pk focuses on providing an integrated marketplace for retailers and entrepreneurs of all sorts to sell their products. They offer free shipping and Cash on Delivery on all orders in order to make online shopping as easy as possible for consumers.
What is your background before Kaymu.pk?
Adam: Before I joined Kaymu.pk, my personal mission was to help as many local startups as I possibly could both in terms of their technology needs and their marketing. Pakistan has some of the most amazing startups in the world and we were just never marketing ourselves properly. In a series of articles written in major tech blogs across the world I did whatever little I could to help promote our startups. All of this learning and knowledge then culminated in the first ever Pakistan Startup Report, which was prepared with the help of the World Startup Report team. The report is a celebration of the best of Pakistan’s startups and shows the amazing potential that only this generation of entrepreneurs has access to. With internet penetration rising now is the best time to start your startup.
What is Kaymu’s business model? What problem is it looking to solve, and how do you do so?
Adam: Kaymu.pk is an online shopping platform giving all large and smaller businesses the ability to list their products for sale. The idea behind this model is to bring multiple sellers, often carrying the same product on Kaymu, this essentially promotes competition between sellers so that buyers end up receiving competitive prices. Since the marketplace model doesn’t require us to store inventory, our team strives to bring both traditional offline retailers and other ecommerce companies on board Kaymu.pk. The ultimate beneficiary is the customer, as they can browse through the products listed and chose the one with the best price.
Kaymu is striving to provide a convenient, integrated solution to all retailers, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs. These small store owners or entrepreneurs get an opportunity to reach a much wider audience through Kaymu’s platform. We are breaking down the barriers of information so that now a seller based in Rahim Yar Khan can just as easily sell to someone in Karachi and vice versa.
What were the initial problems faced by Kaymu? How did/do you solve them?
Adam: In my opinion, any online or ecommerce venture operating in Pakistan and indeed other emerging markets, faces a few common challenges: lack of awareness and trust combined with underdeveloped infrastructure.
Despite the growth of Pakistan’s IT industry and the ecommerce sector in recent years, there still remains a lack of trust for online platforms. This can be seen as Cash on Delivery still accounts for over 90% of transactions. This challenge though is one that will diminish over time and faced equally amongst all ecommerce players.
Specifically the challenges Kaymu faces to this day are convincing a very reluctant seller base to use our platform.
This trust will build over time through increased awareness amongst the general public around the safety of using online platforms. The direct result of this gap in trust is restriction of the use of payment solutions. There is reluctance amongst the Pakistani population to use plastic money and other online payment solutions; this was one of the major challenges Kaymu initially faced. We tackled this issue by offering our customers the option of Cash on Delivery, and it has worked extremely well. Now with the rise in the use of Easy Paisa and MobiCash we are working towards providing another convenient payment solution for our customers.
Underdeveloped infrastructure, mainly lack of internet penetration, is another major issue. However, the launch of 3G technology can potentially change the ecommerce landscape in the coming years and increase internet usage in Pakistan.
What core competencies does Kaymu focus on in order to improve customer experience? How did you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Adam: I will have to say execution; successful execution of planned strategies has always been Kaymu’s strength and has positioned us as a premier name in Pakistan’s ecommerce landscape. We don’t just spend time planning what needs to be done, our team is always geared up to take upon new challenges and deliver results. To give you a couple of examples in the last 3 months we have introduced a brand new CRM and help desk system, as well as rebuilt and re-organised a lot of the core functions, all the while keeping customer happiness as our core objective.
Kaymu’s business model is very different from other ecommerce ventures. It is probably the only model that actually encourages other ecommerce ventures to list its products on our website. Large ecommerce ventures like Symbios.pk have their entire catalog of products on our website because they know we can drive customers to purchase their products. Our skills lies in identifying and marketing to customers at a very targeted level, and because of this we help drive growth for all our sellers whether they are offline retailers or online retailers.
What do you do in your role(s)?
Adam: I am heading all of Kaymu.pk’s operations in Pakistan. This involves strategy building and implementation, monitoring of each and every department and most importantly ensuring each and every one of our customers is a happy customer. I involve myself in every aspect of the business from marketing and seller acquisition to other technical aspects of our online platform.
How big is the Pakistan team? What strengths and weaknesses did you see interviewing candidates?
Adam: We have close to 150 employees over multiple cities working with Kaymu.pk and we are still expanding. There are many roles open at both the senior and junior level.
When it comes to interviewing candidates there are some who blow me away with their desire to work, their passion for online businesses and I love the fact that they come in prepared with a lot of questions. But the other side of the coin is that there are also some candidates who never even show up for the interview which is very alarming.
For the most part people are very excited and see the potential of online commerce in Pakistan and thats why they want to switch from their current position. I mean now is the time to join an ecommerce venture, because in 5 years time the market will have grown so much that any new entrant when he first joins will only ever see a small section of the company until he rises through the ranks, whereas right now they can be involved in most aspects from day 1.
What problems do you face coordinating a venture across multiple countries?
Adam: The biggest problem is internet speed, doing skype calls or Google hangouts can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. Problems though will occur in every business, the only thing that matters is how well you respond to the problems you face. We pride ourselves on our planning and make sure that we have a plan B, C and D for every scenario. So whenever our internet starts to fail us we have various conference call lines set up where people can dial in from their mobile phones into a local number and participate in the call.
What is the future of Kaymu.pk in Pakistan?
Adam: In a short span of time Kaymu.pk has established itself as the leading marketplace in Pakistan. Our strategy is to become even more aggressive in the next few months and further cement our brand identity to being the best place to buy online. We have a highly talented and dedicated team in place and I am 100% confident that we will be able to achieve this in a short period of time.
With the launch of our new Android app and lot of other very exciting developments coming up in the near future, we expect very strong growth in the short to medium run.