in Pakistan is not a properly understood term, neither its meaning nor
its potentials. The definition of e-commerce does not only mean sale or
purchase of goods on the net but also flow of information and funds. If
any of these events occur online, then you have achieved e-commerce, and
your business in true sense is an e-business.
FACTS ABOUT E-COMMERCE
It is here to stay.
• The total global turnover through e-commerce in the year 2003 is
estimated to rise a whopping $3 trillion.
• Business world and certain governments are swiftly adopting
e-commerce to prepare themselves for Free Global Trade era in a very
short period of time.
we hear about e-commerce from people we meet anywhere and almost
everyday, read in the newspapers and magazines and watch talks on
television about e-commerce as it has assumed such importance.
Therefore, people and governments are discussing the benefits and to
devise ways and means to adopt it in conferences, seminars or use it in
innovative systems. Tremendous benefits of e-commerce are time-saving,
efficiency and the speed with which it can reach people anywhere in the
world at any time by a simple click of the button and that too at
a doubt, progressive businesses and governments are rapidly adopting the
e-Factor with the same objective of achieving time and labor efficiency
by working faster, very economically and may boast proudly by saying
that "My business worth is six hundred million seconds more than of
a company called Aerobics Incorporated".
OPPORTUNITIES/BENEFITS OFFERED BY E-COMMERCE
The Web levels the playing field. Large and small business enterprise
irrespective of their sizes will have equal opportunities to succeed and
can take pride in their achievements.
E-commerce eliminates the middle-men from business operation. Therefore
cost saving may multiply the volume of business. Dell computer which is
selling computers directly to consumers in the absence of middle-men and
intermediaries through the Internet. It does not have a physical sales
outlet and sells its computers online. Due to substantial economy in its
operations it has become a formidable competitor of IBM, HP and other
conglomerates in a very short time. Dell achieved a sales volume of
about $32 billion worth of computers through its e-shop during last
Through e-commerce, products to the customers can be delivered faster
which is indeed a great convenience to customers, therefore you achieve
perfect Customer service. Thus the Companies achieve price and
technological edge over competitors.
It improves performance of the business enterprise and improves
resources and eliminates unnecessary paperwork.
It is a paperless environment to work on companies' web sites. Thus,
leading to a Paperless Society and this will be one of the greatest
achievements of IT Revolution by the year 2025.
Information can be updated easily. Thus the printing of brochures and
pamphlets time and again can be eliminated and substantial cost saving
can be achieved.
In order to withstand the competition, web advertising can be changed
immediately according to the heed of the time at a very nominal cost.
PAKISTAN SHOULD ADOPT E-COMMERCE?
to lack of IT culture in Pakistan, people of the business community in
Pakistan have not shown enough interest in adopting e-commerce. Even the
Government has not developed a policy framework and rules regarding
e-commerce. Last of all, research facilities have not been created for
this purpose that is why it has not been a household name in Pakistan.
This is a great setback which needs most immediate attention of the
business community as well as the Government.
we should adopt e-commerce without any further delay to position
ourselves to be a part of the globalization of the world market and to
avail opportunities as well as to grasp benefits of E-commerce, as
can be classified into three types according to the parties involved.
Business to Business e-commerce — B2B e-commerce
* Business to Customer e-commerce — B2C e-commerce
* Customer to Customer e-commerce — C2C e-commerce
* Business to Business e-commerce — B2B e-commerce
type is a major part of the overall e-commerce. It represents automated
electronic transactions, which could take place between two businesses.
For example it may take the form of transactions that take place
electronically between manufacturing companies and their suppliers or
between wholesalers and retailers etc.
Pakistan we can follow the Japanese B2B business model of manufacturing
known as JIT (Just In Time) where manufacturers do not invest large sums
of money in keeping raw materials. In this mode of business the computer
systems of manufacturer and its suppliers are interlinked and are
programmed in such a way that the computer system of the manufacturer
automatically orders the specific quantity to the suppliers' system as
the level drops to minimum and the supplier efficiently delivers the
material on the assembly line.
TO CUSTOMER E-COMMERCE — B2C E-COMMERCE
is the area where the Pakistani businessmen have the best chance to
capitalize; provided their products are able to compete globally in
terms of quality and price. Here again, a business cannot achieve
quality product at a lower cost without implementing e-commerce
internally and becoming an e-business. And this is the area, which poses
the greatest challenge to Pakistani businesses as well because there
will be a free global trade in not to distant future and when it begins,
the most common medium of trade will be Internet.
E-COMMERCE HAS FOUR ROUTES/CATEGORIES
Goods are bought and delivered within the country
Goods are bought from within the country and are delivered abroad
Goods are bought from overseas and delivered within the country
Goods are bought from overseas and also delivered abroad
these four routes, the greatest potential lies in the categories of c
routes provide the brightest potential for Pakistan especially; as there
are over 3,000,000 (Three Million) Pakistanis living in different parts
of the world who want to express their sentiments to their loved ones at
home in the form of flowers, gifts, expensive electronics and other
valuable items and derive satisfaction thereby Internet commerce would
also bring precious foreign exchange to Pakistan.
Group has taken a bold initiative by opening a site called mallpk.com
where shopkeepers can open their own virtual e-shops and sell goods
online. It is just like a big super-market but its existence is only
TO CUSTOMER E-COMMERCE — C2C E-COMMERCE
this classification, a customer will go to another customer direct to
satisfy his needs. For example, online auctions like ebay.com.
a Pakistani portal Kalpoint.com (KPDC) is doing a tremendous
humanitarian service free of cost by getting the employment
opportunities to applicants in their homes and vice versa. KalPoint.com
is also providing yet another social service on matchpk.com for the
prospective brides and bridegrooms to get in touch with each other and
decide for themselves the suitability of the match. Thus, KPDC is just
providing a common platform to million of users/consumers, without any
charge (Free of Cost).
THE GROWTH OF E-COMMERCE IN PAKISTAN
impedes the growth of e-commerce in Pakistan is the lack of any
e-commerce law, particularly no comprehensive laws governing the cyber
security and digital signatures coupled with lack of awareness of the
official of Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEDA) has recently
compiled a book' "Secrets of e-Commerce" in collaboration with
International Trade Centre (ITC).
essence, potentials of e-commerce are infinite and most economical in
terms of business. Its application in true sense can bring long-term
benefits which was never possible few decades ago.
and E-governance in Pakistan are not far-fetched ideas but will become
necessities in order to survive as a nation.
or later, we have to adopt E-commerce, as we can not remain isolated
from the World Market. So, earlier we do that the better, otherwise we
will be out of business.
Literacy is not a choice anymore but a necessity for an individual and
our nation. Careers in IT are wide-ranging and offer good career options
nationally as well as internationally.