Women have shown their excellence in managing digital commerce venture as e-commerce had emerged as new opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There are more than 2,000 e-commerce sites and 100,000 Facebook-based outlets in Bangladesh delivering almost 60,000 products a day. According to unofficial data, around 50 percent of the Facebook stores are owned by women entrepreneurs and handle hundreds of millions of TK.
Through an electronic platform, women operate all kinds of businesses like handicrafts, clothing, food, blogging, fashion apparel, home furnishing, jewellery, etc by using social media.
While these numbers may amaze you, but there is also the other side of the story. All these women are contributing to their families and countries economic growth but their journey has never been easy so far.
Lack of trust, the absence of a reliable and safe payment system, and lack of availability of logistics at all parts of Bangladesh are some very basic problems that are making their life difficult every day. Other than that, women who are just starting up have very limited financial backup to support the business.
When it comes to delivering products outside Dhaka it becomes tough for these small stores because outside Dhaka delivery service is still very poor by the local courier services.
However, Paperfly, the largest tech-focused logistic network in the country has been supporting the supply chain of the e-commerce industry in Bangladesh including women entrepreneurs for the last five years.
Many of the Facebook stores are not registered and have no trade license, while others fail to maintain proper financial statements. Thus, banks are often hesitant to provide them with loans due to the high risk of defaulting involved. Loans available to them are subject to high-interest rates. Paperfly is helping these entrepreneurs to get them loans by tagging them with the bank.
In short, Paperfly is rigorously working to support the business of all these online sellers and our support would be even better in the future with more innovative and never before seen services.
There are mentioned couples of success stories of digital entrepreneurs tagged with Paperfly network.
A university student started Kadambari as an online shop from a Facebook Group in 2017 through producing crafting products to get out of the depression.
"When I saw that I was making a fairly good product and the quantity was good, I decided to take it as a hobby. Then I opened the group and started importing my products as well as imported jewellery, which are very pocket friendly for the students, so my school and college friends took my product in their hands, I didn't have to look back for their cooperation," the entrepreneurs shared the experience.
From the very beginning, we were trying to find a little uncommon product, so we started to find Afghan antique products starting from the products made by our local artisans, she added.
"Since I do not live in Dhaka, I always have to face problems, getting the product ready and sending it to Dhaka, overseeing my colleagues there, and communicating with the artisans,"
Sharing experience with Paperfly, the entrepreneur further mentioned that the logistic service provider delivers lovely products with great care, so far they have not lost or damaged any parcels.
"Since parcel delivery is a big factor in business, Paperfly has at least assured me of this one. The business has grown over time, with only a capital of Rs 6,000 and an employee, but now I have 5 more as collaborators. We are also delivering Kadambari's products in the country as well as abroad, our activities officially started in Kolkata last December, and it has been made possible entirely through online activities. Thanks to Paperfly for reassuring me about parcel delivery, I hope to have them in the future as well," she added.
Another young entrepreneur, Afsara Hossain cofounded Beauty Refined almost 6 years back during my teenage along with other cofounder Sanjida Afser just started her second year of university with business administration.
"I was always into science and she always had a strategical business mind. Just randomly one afternoon we opened up a page online and named it Beauty Refined. We started importing beauty products from different countries. We contacted a random delivery agency where we had a loss of three thousand TK. Back then it was a big loss for both of us. Then we got to know about Paperfly from Shovon bhaiya (brother). And started working with Paperfly. As days went by people started getting engaged with our page and we started importing from India as we both used to travel there in every two months. Last year when the pandemic hit we were devastated because we were unable to import goods as the flights and cargos were banned.
For almost 2 months we researched about cargos, and luckily we found somebody trustworthy who is responsible for bringing stuff from the USA. Co-incidentally my sister is a US citizen, we both offered her to be a part of Beauty Refined, this is when we both took Beauty Refined to another level. Its been almost a year we are successfully delivering products from the USA, we deal with big brands like Michael Kors, Coach, Tory Burch, Guess, Zaara, Armani and a lot more. And we provide 100 percent authentication of our every single product.
"Without Paperfly we wouldn't be able to deliver the products to our valuable clients. Also, I must mention that each of our parcels is delivered with the utmost care and loyalty. These never happened that they're delaying with the bank payment or anything got missing by the agency,"
Most importantly the biggest advantage Paperfly has given us is that they provide cash on delivery all over Bangladesh. It has been a beautiful journey with Paperfly ever since we started working with them.