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Daraz Summit 2022 Held, Focus on Digital Economy

Nepal’s leading online marketplace Daraz held its one-day Annual Summit 2022 in Kathmandu in Hotel Yak & Yeti. The event drew the presence of Ministerial secretariats, high-ranking officials from NRB, entrepreneurs, and various media outlets. The occasion was divided into three separate sessions, where the eCommerce and digital economy dominated the panel discussions. The event was based on the theme “Joining hands to uplift communities”.

Below, we list the panelists and what they had to say about the growing eCommerce and digital economy in Nepal. But before that, let’s start with what the Daraz MD had to say.

Daraz wants to be an active channel of change

Daraz MD Aanchal Kunwar said that the company’s innovative solutions, relentless focus on customer service, partners, and sellers’ service, and diversified customer experience helped the company reach the no.1 status in the country.  She also said that the pandemic did contribute to upscale Daraz’s market values more than expected.

Daraz has 15 thousand sellers and serves 15 lakh customers per month across 101 cities.

Ms. Kunwar later said that Daraz’s “challenge is to contribute to digital Nepal” and the company “wants to be an active channel of change and a stepping stone to this dialogue (to uplift communities)”. The former manager at Amazon also promised to go miles to bring change and uplift Nepali communities.

Aanchal Kunwar ,Daraz MD
Daraz MD Aanchal Kunwar speaking at the Daraz Annual Summit 2022

Later, took part in a panel discussion where she shared how she is left amazed at the expansion of connectivity to remote areas in Nepal. She spoke delightfully at how even small vendors can accept FonePay or wallet for payment which has made life easier.

She praised Nepali consumers for their ability to change and adapt.

Compared with the US, she said that Nepal has got connections in rural areas whereas even in the US if one goes outside the city, the connection might drop. She particularly mentioned Muktinath, a Northern district in the Gandaki province having a reliable telecom service.

The Daraz MD also shared that due to the availability of high-speed broadband service, they can buy products easily at their convenience.

Check out: Top Online Shopping Sites in Nepal

Digital services need trust and transparency – Hamro Patro CEO Shankar Uprety

Shankar Uprety, CEO of Hamro Patro CEO was among a panelist who spoke on Blending of the Market Place and Commerce for Digital Economy. Uprety pointed to how the popular Nepal calendar app has transitioned from a mere calendar app to a multiservice platform. He shared that the digital marketplace needs to build foundations upon trust and transparency and recalled his experience with the Astrology feature as part of the learning process.

Shankar Uprety
Hamro Patro CEO Shankar Uprety at the Daraz Annual Summit

Hamro Patro is currently on a path to becoming a super app. The platform has evolved from a basic calendar to news astrology to a digital remittance service in Nepal. Uprety referenced that it costs 4.45 dollars to spend 1 thousand dollars in Nepal. He shared the company wants to drive down the cost to below $1.

Also see: Hamro Patro App Hits 10 Million+ Downloads On Android

No alternative to accepting online marketplace

Suresh Shrestha, the Director of the Department of Industry was among the panelists in the same session. He reminisced how the digital market has evolved in 20 years. He said that he remembers how and used to rule the online marketplace years ago. However, the scope has expanded and people can buy literally all the items online these days.

Suresh Shrestha the Director of the Department of Industry
Suresh Shrestha the Director of the Department of Industry speaking at a panel discussion of the Daraz Annual Summit

The government to introduce the eCommerce Act soon

Shrestha also pointed to the requirement of an Umbrella Act to accommodate the online market places and the digital economy. He shared that the likely policy is in the works as a bill at present.

Meanwhile, he also acknowledged that the government will create a more conducive environment to accommodate digital markets.

Don’t miss: India’s RuPay Launches in Nepal | Cross-Border Payment

eCommerce is a boon for entrepreneurs

Santosh Pandey, co-founder of OHO Cake and Offering Happiness shared that eCommerce has helped entrepreneurs in boosting their businesses. In a regular market, the investor has to put more money and effort to boost sales. The online marketplace, however, has made it easy for newer generations easily reach more buyers thanks to the eCommerce platforms.

He shared that OHO Cake’s products are sold through 17 marketplaces and it lessens the company’s bothering with sales. People can easily place an order and get their favorite cake delivered to their doorstep.

Digital Transactions are the future of payment in Nepal

Guru Prasad Paudel, executive director of the Payment Service Department at Nepal Rastra Bank also graced the Daraz Annual Summit. Like other panelists, he also talked about the growth of eCommerce in Nepal and shared staggering statistics that highlighted how Nepal has transitioned towards online payment methods.

Likewise, he also stated that the government of Nepal sees digital payment as one of the key components of Digital Nepal.

“The government wants to make electronic transactions secure, efficient, and effective, he shared, NRB succeeded in the age of analog banking. It will also transition towards digital payment mode and wants to make it more reliable,” he added. Find out: Daraz 11.11 Sets Sales Record | Served 7 Lakh Nepalese in 24 Hrs

Digital payment in numbers

Poudel shared that as per the data from the current fiscal year till Baisakh, Nepal has 1.20 crore wallet users, mobile banking has 1.77 crore users, and internet banking has 16 lakh customers. Similarly, 1.6 debit cards are issued, while the credit card number stands at 2.30 lakh. Meanwhile, 1 lakh people use prepaid cards.

He also shared that wallet users can roll out such cards.

Illustrating further, he shared that till Baisakh, QR payment contributed to 10 billion worth of transactions in 31 payment sessions. Wallets here led to 15 billion worth of transactions in 1.48 crore transactions.

Retail payments dominate the electronic transaction

More astonishingly, Retail value payments that consist of wallets and small-scale payments contributed to 164 percent of the total GDP of Nepal.

At the same time, the government also resorted to 90 percent electronic payment during the same period. But for collecting revenues, the figures stranded at 15 percent.

Poudel said that the regulatory bank is doing its best to enhance the experience of the digital payment system in Nepal and play its role to complement the digital economy.

The event also had Baikuntha Aryal present his ideas on growing eCommerce and digital practices. In his speech, he pointed out that Nepal needs to further its digital practices and realize the country’s Digital Nepal vision.

Aryal urged the stakeholders to focus on “being digital rather than just doing digital.”

In the meantime, Cloud factory Country Manager Ayush Shrestha stressed the need for higher broadband penetration to produce more digital talents in Nepal.

Recommended: Daraz Launches Proudly Nepali to Promote Local Brands

Nepal’s broadband penetration was also connected at the flagship summit. Dileep Agrawal, the Founder and MD of WorldLink Communications talked delightfully about the expansion of broadband internet in Nepal. He recalled that in his recent trip to a remote place Lomantahan, he found the use of FonePay and noticed Ntc 4G and fiber internet. He also praised the growing trend of using smartphones, not just for social media, TikTok and etc., but also for learning.

Did you catch up with the Daraz Summit 2022 today? What was the highlight for you at the event? Do share in the comments below.

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