Lankan eCom Dulith Herath meets Jack Ma of Alibaba | Page 2 | Daily News

Lankan eCom Dulith Herath meets Jack Ma of Alibaba

Dulith Herath with global e-com king Jack Ma

 In a strategic move to boost e-commerce in Sri Lanka as part of the nation’s trade development within the current digital age, our very own e-commerce, Dulith Herath met the global e-com king Jack Ma.

Herath who founded and drove the country’s largest and most successful e-com portal Kapruka, is a visionary leader who foresaw the importance of Sri Lanka stepping into digital trade much before the online business boom took over the world. Similarly, Jack Ma- the celebrated Founder and Chairman of the world’s largest family of internet based business network Alibaba is a venerated figure in global e-commerce.

The meeting between the two innovators was held in Geneva as part of a United Nations’ initiative to boost digital retail within developing nations as a progressive tool for business growth.

The duo discussed forming strategic collaborations to explore the true potential of e-commerce in countries like Sri Lanka and utilising homegrown tools like the Kapruka owned ‘Grasshoppers’ set-up to overcome traditional challenges encountered during e-trade. The meeting promised the beginning of a revolution in Lankan digital retail, paving the way to new possibilities for the entire local ecosystem of entrepreneurs, brands and businesses looking to reach a global market.

While the United Nations is optimistic on facilitating private and public partnerships in developing countries, global influencers like Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba too find the such nations to have incredible potential to use digital retail for economic progress.

Kapruka founder and CEO Dulith Herath too has similar beliefs and is keen to leverage this massive opportunity to join forces with a global e-commerce network to take Sri Lankan digital retail to the next level by using locally developed platforms and solutions.

Here, homegrown tools like ‘Grasshoppers’ that were founded by Dulith Herath with Dr. Harsha Liyanage and seed funded by Kapruka, were discussed.

Grasshoppers is a setup developed to overcome the three most common barriers in e-commerce - delivery, secure payment and assistance in import /export processes. Currently valued at an astounding 1 Billion LKR by Stax Inc and at the verge of reaching island wide growth, Grasshoppers focuses on up-coming small and medium sized e-commerce ventures.

With such promise, it was discussed to use Grasshoppers to introduce Ali Pay and reliable Cash on Delivery services similar to the solutions under Jack Ma’s Alibaba network to Sri Lanka. Ma’s payment platform Alipay is already more widely used than VISA and MasterCard and is predicted to be larger than the two combined by 2019.

During the meeting, Jack Ma expressed a keen interest in working with innovators and entrepreneurs like Herath, instead of politicians or traditional businessmen.

Ma went on to discuss his interest in the South Asian region with Herath, and the two found common interests not only from a business point of view, but also at a humanitarian level of benefitting the society by empowering small and medium businesses and new entrepreneurs with e-commerce as a tool for connecting to global markets.

The collaboration was initiated by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) which recognises e-commerce as an important driver of innovation and growth in business for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. 


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