Lazada pledges to cultivate entrepreneurs and SMEs
Focus Malaysia 08 Nov 2018 16:08
Lazada Group has pledged to support 8 million eCommerce entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia to grow and thrive by 2030. The company also announced its commitment to create a healthy and sustainable eCommerce ecosystem in the region and champion opportunities in technology and logistics infrastructure to benefit its ecosystem of sellers, consumers and local communities.

As part of the pledge, Lazada will provide help for SMEs to digitise their business and gain better access to Internet-savvy and mobile consumers; reduce the entry barriers for sellers to create their own brands on Lazada; and allow them to tap on the company’s logistics network to facilitate the transfer of goods.

At a panel discussion hosted by Lazada Malaysia on the state of eCommerce in Southeast Asia and Malaysia, Christophe Lejeune, Chief Executive Officer of Lazada Malaysia said: “SMEs play an instrumental role in further developing Malaysia’s economy, and Lazada is committed to create a conducive ecosystem to drive an era of robust digital transformation. By empowering sellers through our technology, logistics capabilities and extensive network of shoppers locally and regionally; we can help them become sustainable businesses that will contribute to the economic growth of both Malaysia and Southeast Asia in the long run.”

Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in Asia pointed out that for eCommerce to develop further in Malaysia, more investment in ‘last mile’ infrastructure is still needed.

“While relatively high Internet access and digital payment usage are a good foundation for eCommerce, there are some areas that need more focus. One of these is improved integration of last-mile delivery with national and international supply chains. Second, SMEs will need to engage proactively to avoid being negatively affected by the increased competition. Most businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, however only around 32% of these were using eCommerce in 2016. Awareness of eCommerce and capacity development among Malaysian SMEs, along with support for export capability, will increase the chance that they can benefit. Finally, firms and governments need to continue to make it easier to make and pay for small transactions across borders,” Baptist explained.

To address this matter, Lejeune said that by allowing SMEs to tap into Lazada’s logistics network to facilitate the transfer of goods across countries, businesses will be able to deliver to customers anywhere and as a result, create more opportunities for growth in eCommerce along the supply chain.

“Lazada’s commitment to cultivating 8 million SMEs by 2030 in ASEAN-6 will in turn open up opportunities for various eCommerce supplying industries to flourish, including logistics, young social influencers, manufacturers and designers and cottage industries.” Lazada is also committed to developing local talent and communities, helping today’s sellers gain access to the increasingly mobile consumers digitise their businesses through a variety of programmes and tools dedicated to upskill them. Lazada Malaysia launched LazStar Academy in September, a collaboration with Alibaba’s Taobao University to bring local knowhow and insider advice from some of the most successful and experienced LAZADA sellers so business owners can sidestep pitfalls and accelerate their online business growth.

The eCommerce leader in Malaysia also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MAHSA University, to allow students to interact and learn from world-class trainers from Alibaba, TMall, and Lazada. The strategic partnership will see the incorporation of real-world insights from Lazada into the syllabus taught to MAHSA University’s Business students.

Regionally, Lazada is focusing on empowering women in eCommerce and digital entrepreneurship, including concerted efforts to support women’s career advancement and ensure equal development opportunities through initiatives including women roundtables, networking and mentoring programmes.

On a grassroots level, Lazada is fostering a community of women for women across Southeast Asia to narrow the digital divide with programmes providing support to grow a group of female eCommerce role models, as well as offering stay-at-home mothers free training and assistance so they are equipped to run an online store while juggling family responsibilities.

The panel discussion today was held in conjunction with the upcoming Lazada 11.11 Shopping Festival, Lazada’s biggest annual one-day sale. The 24-hour online shopping extravaganza will kick off at midnight on 11 November 2018, with a live broadcast countdown show on 10 November 2018.

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