As the big winter season is approaching , retail outlets all around are offering better deals and discounts. Telemart (www.telemart.pk) has also announced some very exciting deals for 2020 winter sales. We tried to get in touch with Telemart for an informal discussion on online retail market and its trends hence We met Ahmed Rauf Essa, who is currently heading Telemart. Initially he informed of this tight schedule during these busy days due to upcoming sales campaign for winter sales.
Once he agreed to meet, Ahmed Rauf shared that he started Telemart during his educational period at the age of 23. A business graduate from IoBM (CBM) Ahmed Rauf is the eldest son of Abdul Rauf Essa founder of Telemart and he said that; “our sales season is just around the corner, as we have two large scale sales events coming up in the month of November. This time of year we are extremely busy as we have two sales events, firstly on 11th November 2020 which is popularly known as 11.11 and other being the ‘Blessed Friday”, which is on last Friday of every November 2020”.
He added that; “every year we have four important sale events which are Pakistan Day Sale on 23rd March, then we have our Anniversary Sale event which takes place on 16th May every year, then 14th August Sale followed by two events on November by name of 11.11 and Blessed Friday. For this year’s Blessed Friday we are looking forward to somewhere between 20 to 40 million impressions during the event period”.
He further added that; “besides these four big events, we also do small scale promotions around the year on social media. We have good presence on social media too with Telemart accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat & Tiktok. I firmly believe that my customer can be found on any platform. We are planning to enhance our online presence more to tap in more and more customers”.
Ahmed Rauf Essa informed us that; “Telemart is a tech-based company founded by our father Abdul Rauf Essa. Telemart is operating under the umbrella of parent company Trade Links Enterprises. Before I tell you about our current business let me start by informing you from where we started off. My father Abdul Rauf Essa is considered as pioneer of mobile industry in Pakistan. He has served as the founder and chairman of United Mobile, which was once one of the largest mobile phone distributor in Pakistan”.
He said; “He started his company by the name of Trade Links Enterprises, which was registered in 1991. Initially he started with cellular services representation, as an exclusive dealer of the then, top service providers, Pakcom Limited (MilliCom), a Millicom company from 1993 and then in connections of the two other top cellular services of that era namely Paktel (Cable & Wireless) and Mobilink (Orascom). Moving forward form offering cellular services, Trade Links Enterprises ventured into providing facilities like sales of cell-phones, handsets-devices, accessories, after-sale-services, customer cares of almost all of the leading brands available in Pakistan”.
He further shared ‘then we moved one step ahead and rolled out the concept of united services under one roof & it attracted the attention of Nokia Corporation, which offered distribution rights to the firm and soon afterwards other international brands also offered distribution rights as well, which included Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola, I-Mate & Samsung. This company was named as United Mobile and my father successfully led United Mobiles as its founding chairman from its inception till the mid of 2012. During its peak days United Mobiles had 500+ dealers and 17 outlets by name of Mobile Point. Then he decided to move forward and that resulted in creating Telemart with a new vision – ‘to redefine the landscape of retailing and e-commerce in Pakistan by working towards a more customer-centric business approach and to ensure customer convenience and gratification’.”
He added that; “launched on 16th May 2014, today Telemart is one of the finest e-commerce company in Pakistan having more than 200,000 products ranging from selling premium gold-plated-products and other high value items with a wide range to choose from i.e. mobile-phones, laptops, watches, jewelry, pens, cufflink and other accessories etc. Telemart also happens to be on only e-commerce brand to have omni channel presence i.e. online-marketplace & 10 outlets and we are expanding nation-wide. Today with an average of millions visitors daily, we stand at second position in terms of volume, revenue & downloads”.
During the discussion Hamza Rauf Essa also joined in and after formal greetings said; “we don’t want to do something extra ordinary or something exceptional, we just want to replicate what others in much tech-developed countries are doing like Amazon, Ali Baba and regional players like Souk, Noon and Flipkart have done wonders in their respective countries. We just want to replicate them here in Pakistan. It shouldn’t be about re-inventing the wheel, we must go about with the same wheel”.
Ahmed Rauf; said: “a lot of consumers still don’t trust online shopping the way they should due to a lot of scams, mis-commitments and late deliveries that are common all around us. Tech-developed countries also have these issues, but what keeps customer’s confidence intact is customer services / after sales services. This is what has been missing in Pakistan and we at Telemart are trying to give best possible customer services / after sales services to keep loyal customer with us and make new ones”, added Ahmed Rauf.
On concluding note, Ahmed Rauf said; “before starting any business, please do prepare a business plan for yourself with a minimum of 10 years in mind, this business plan will keep you going. I want to inform you all that online retail business is not that easy, you need to have strong financial muscles for sustainability. We are the only local company in top three in Pakistan. For new start-ups I would suggest that they should opt for niche market rather marketplace for which you require strong financial muscles. I have seen a lot of big brands venturing into this business and then suffering badly and occurring huge losses. Niche market segments should be preferred with customer centric approach”.