The race to digitise kiryana stores

11:56 AM | 13 Apr, 2021
The race to digitise kiryana stores
Source: Image: LinkedIn

If Covid has done anything positive for the Pakistan market, it has accelerated the digitisation and modernisation drive of conventional business practices here. More and more organisations are now looking to evolve their businesses and subscribe to a digital way of working – alongside their physical operations.

This was both a necessity (as most businesses saw a massive decline in sales; due to closures, lockdowns, lack of consumers visiting physical outlets and issues with inventory and supply-chain management) and aspirational value (since these stores saw a rise in online sales and social selling – through various groups and messenger apps online).

To truly understand where the key to Kiryana digitisation lies, organisations need to cater to both the necessity and the aspirational reasons of these merchants. To truly understand this concept, first, let’s understand the necessity;

The necessity to digitise is fueled by the uncertainty that Covid has brought on. As Pakistan struggles with renewed waves of Covid, intermittent closure of businesses and disruption of supply of products – necessity has served as the mother of invention. Businesses understand that they can optimise their circumstances by subscribing to digitisation platforms and tools (eCommerce, mCommerce, payment gateways, social media and messaging platforms). They can use these services to reach their intended target audience and convert their stores into hyper-local warehouses. Though the circumstances have evolved and places are now open; the emergence of this new sales/support channel has led to growth in profits; hence necessity has been invented.

But without taking into consideration aspiration, I feel a great means to scale digitisation is being ignored. That is where REDRETAIL comes in. REDRETAIL is our end-to-end retail digitisation platform that was born out of both necessity and aspiration. We spent a lot of time understanding what the front-line (Kiryana stores) were missing and what we discovered along this journey was inspirational.

According to Aljazeera; ‘Pakistan’s grocery retail space, estimated by tech industry insiders to be worth more than $50bn in revenues annually’. That means this sector is a major contributor to the country’s economy, in terms of revenue and employment. Bearing this in mind, in order to cater to the market and move it towards the digitisation of its operations and acceptance of digital payments, we have to cater to its needs and aspirations both. According to most retailers, we were in touch with, their aspiration around their store was to grow their practice, become a bigger player (in profits, in product offering and aesthetics). 

Store owners wanted to compete with bigger retail stores/chains and offer a similar user experience to their customers. According to one store owner, “we have managed this store for decades, we are part of the community here, kids come and borrow our bottle crates so they can play cricket in the street, for the community we are family.” To stay a part of that community, they want to offer an experience to their customers: one we realised could be offered through a dedicated point of sale (POS) device. A device through which they could offer receipts to their customer, scan & update inventory, offer digital payments, introduce loyalty programs and extend their offering past usual products and towards up-selling and cross-selling new products and services (like bill payments, school payments, mobile top-ups, referral of hand-blenders, juicers etc., even the latest iPhone).

With REDRETAIL, what we wanted to achieve was a comprehensive digitisation platform that fit the requirement of the primary sector; the Kiyana store, which has access to the end customers and plays the most active role with respect to building their habits. We essentially built the ecosystem around their needs and their aspirations. 
The writer is Group Vice President, REDtone.

The writer is Group Vice President, REDtone.


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 26 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 26 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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