Pandemic has led to unprecedented growth of e-commerce across the globe today as ecommerce has become an integral part of the retail industry. Companies across sectors are now establishing processes and deploying Software-as-a-service (SaaS) to meet the rising e-commerce demand. Unicommerce is a leading e-commerce focused supply chain software platform for retail brands and is aggressively working towards simplifying e-commerce selling and empowering retail brands in the Middle East. The company has been persistently growing its presence in the Middle East, and UAE in particular, in the past year.
Khaleej Times had an exclusive interview with Kapil Makhija, CEO of Unicommerce where he throws light on the companies' expansion plans in the Middle East and how the firm is helping retail brands in ME to solve supply chain-related pain points.
Tell us about Unicommerce and your journey so far? Talk about your solutions and how it will help retailers and ecommerce companies?
Unicommerce provides e-commerce enablement service to leading retail brands in India, Middle-east and Southeast Asia. We have a mission of simplifying e-commerce selling for retail brands and we have been working towards it for the last 10 years. We started our operations in India in 2012, and today we are one of the leading companies in India and we are consistently growing our presence in the Middle-east.
Unicommerce has built best-in-class technology solutions that help retail brands and e-commerce players manage supply chain operations efficiently and improve business productivity. Our solutions not only allow sellers to scale up their business across multiple sales platforms (marketplaces and websites) but also helps in managing the operations efficiently thus ensuring stronger unit economics. We have a robust portfolio of supply chain-focused SaaS solutions. Our solutions act as a middleware that helps e-tailers and e-commerce companies in managing all e-commerce supply-chain operations on a single platform. We provide e-commerce enablement software for all kinds of retail businesses.
Retail brands in the Middle East are actively adopting our order management solutions and inventory management solutions, which help them manage all orders on a centralized platform and give full visibility of inventory across various locations. Our warehouse management solution is designed to meet the dynamic needs of the e-commerce business and is widely adopted by companies with multiple warehouses. We also offer an omnichannel solution that merges all offline and online sales channels on one platform and works well for businesses with a strong online and offline presence.
Why is the ME market important for Unicommerce?
The Middle East is a very special market for us. The initial response when we launched last year has been great and we see further opportunities in the region. In India, we have a proven track record of building a great e-commerce focused supply chain solution company in an emerging e-commerce market. I am confident that our learnings from our home country can enable us to help retail brands in the Middle East as well to expand their online business rapidly. The Middle-east has a growing economy with immense potential and even today e-commerce constitutes around 2-3% of the overall retail, while in developed markets it's around 12-14%. It's been globally observed that an increase in adoption of e-commerce, leads to higher adoption of technology solutions to manage the scale and bring efficiency. This presents an amazing opportunity for us to grow our business and emerge as the top choice for retailers and brands in the Middle East.
What will be your ME expansion strategy?
We want to ensure that we continue to simply e-commerce selling across the globe and we operate on three strategies in every market:
1. Every market has its own unique business requirement and we will continue to localize our business for the middle east market. Even though Unicommerce is an Indian-origin company, we want to be a part of the local community. Hence, we will continue to learn from the local businesses who understand what local retailers need from our solutions. In India, we organized several webinars for e-tailers and brands to gather knowledge and explore all potential ways to drive their business to the next level. Over the last year, we have done many webinar sessions in the Middle East and we plan to continue to hold such sessions.
2. Secondly, we want to invest in hiring local talent and establish local offices to ensure we have on-ground support for our clients. We already have a huge network of partners who work closely with us and are enabling us to continue our growth momentum.
3. Thirdly, we are continuously improving our solutions because we want to satisfy and simplify ecommerce solutions for all kinds of businesses and brands. For the next few years, our entire focus would be to put our heads down and execute.
Do you think retail brands Middle east sellers are ready to invest in e-commerce supply chain solutions?
Absolutely. With the pandemic-infused shift towards the digital economy, a massive increase in the number of people shopping online, opting for digital payments has led to confidence amongst retailers to strengthen their digital presence. The timing couldn't be more perfect to enter and capitalize on this shift. I have met so many business leaders in the Middle East over the last year, and it's overwhelming to see that there is an ambition to grow businesses and the need to invest in technology. It's a positive sign that business leaders understand that technology will play a pivotal role in building a resilient supply chain, especially in today’s dynamic world. Hence, they are now ready to streamline their e-commerce operations and offer a great post-purchase experience.
What kind of success have you witnessed in the Middle-east so far?
We have received an overwhelming response in the middle-east, especially from companies in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We also have clients now who are based out of Kuwait as well. We are also working with some of the leading retail brands in the region and getting queries and interests from many emerging D2C brands. The response has been great so far and we hope that it continues.
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