By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce platform Kapruka.com (Pvt.) Ltd is wooing businesses in Sri Lanka to outsource its e-commerce processing and delivery services with the establishment of the ‘Kapruka Fulfilment House’.
“Most people think that e-commerce ends when the customer gets the order number. But there’s a whole process after that. There’s inventory, warehousing, quality control, delivery and returns. We have gotten so good at this part, that we feel like we can convert it to a whole different business,” Kapruka.com Founder Dulith Herath said.
He said that a businessman who has extra funds to start an e-commerce platform cannot match the efficiencies or contingencies Kapruka.com enjoys.
“We have a driver called Saman Kumara in Mahiyangana who has been working for us for four years. He can do 110 deliveries a day. A new driver who has worked in Colombo all his life can’t do even 10,”
He added that businesses can maintain and customize their websites.
Herath said that Kapruka.com will be processing the e-commerce of businesses which are still traditional, or have entered e-commerce successfully, with brands such as DSI, Nestle, Odel and Cargills.
“There will be a new seven-floor building in which we plan to do nothing but fulfilment. We have already purchased a land in Mirihana and breaking the ground in the coming weeks,” he said.
Meanwhile, he added that Kapruka.com will be entering the Business to Business (B2B) segment, in addition to the Rs.1 billion revenue earning customer-centric (B2C) model.
“If Kapruka got to Rs.1 billion just by B2C, just imagine what it will do with B2B? Think of the global numbers. B2B is nine times bigger than B2C,” Herath said.
The model will be implemented by Kapruka.com offering a ‘Kapruka B2B Card’ to the departments responsible for procurement or hospitality in a business. The management of the businesses will be alerted of each purchase via an SMS, while the account will be charged every 60 days.
Mulls regional expansion
Herath said that Kapruka.com will become an internationally established company in the near future, by providing its ‘Kapruka Global Shop’ service to Asia-Pacific countries that have stringent import-export controls like Sri Lanka.
“We don’t have a timeline yet but Pakistan will be our first market,” he said.
The Kapruka Global Shop was launched in Sri Lanka two years ago and has allowed Sri Lankan consumers to order goods from websites such as Amazon, Ebay and Best Buy, without encountering the Customs Department.
“You can order small things like hairclips directly but what if it’s a big thing like a laptop? You’ll have to take half a day off to go to the Customs. What if you open it and it’s not working? You’ll have to return it and there’s a whole export process. If they send a replacement, you’ll be taxed twice,” he said.
The Kapruka Global Shop manages all the processes systematically and ensures that exports and imports are kept within the law.
The business model was recognized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which praised the Kapruka Global Shop for its entrepreneurship in the Information Economy Report 2015.