By Farooq Adam Co-Founder, Fynd.
The world is facing a crisis that is predicted to grow bigger in the coming months. India as a country has taken a brave, powerful decision to be in complete lockdown for 3 weeks. With the majority of businesses in a lurch, there is no surprise that the e-commerce sector is facing tough challenges during this period.
The customers’ focus has shifted from discretionary shopping to gaining access to necessities. The e-commerce sector can connect people to the essential items they need for sustenance and reduce the opportunity for frantic buying and hoarding. Most people usually prefer online vs. offline because of the ease of shopping and assured doorstep delivery of their orders. But in this time of crisis, e-commerce can ease the minds of customers who are not well-stocked, have elderly relations living alone, or those that depend on food delivery or other services for food.
The benefits are many, but there are serious challenges as well that need to be carefully considered. Warehouses and distribution centers employ a large number of people who will continue to be at risk if business continues as usual. To ensure safety, some companies are accepting only “prepaid payments” and have enabled “contactless deliveries”. Streamlining the supply of essential items is important and the government has assured free movement for logistics. However, the delivery partners on the ground continue to face adverse situations. Uniket, and OpenAPI Brand Website. But our teams continue to work remotely to support our brand partners. Since we are a technology platform company, we are equipped to weather this situation in the short-term. We are utilizing this time to focus more on our people and have set up extensive programs to keep them engaged, healthy and strong. Our teams are spending time upskilling, exchanging ideas and applying inspirations. We plan to come out of this together—stronger and
On the positive side of things, once the lockdown is lifted the industry expects a surge in online orders because customers would prefer online over offline purchases as a precautionary measure. In the meantime, e-commerce businesses should stay invested in building systems, finding opportunities and preparing for the future.
Farooq is the co-founder of Fynd. Fynd is India’s largest O2O fashion platform. At Fynd he looks after the overall strategic vision and heads product, engineering, and growth. Formerly, he worked as a management and big data analytics consultant in New York and San Diego. Graduated from IIT Bombay in 2008 with a Masters in Structural Engineering and Bachelor in Civil Engineering. Author of several papers and a book on
structural engineering. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, trekking, scuba diving and photography. Last year he completed the Everest Basecamp Trek.