Master of Business Administration Executive

Faculty / School

School of Business Studies (SBS)

Year of Award



Dr. Shahid R. Mir, Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Project Type

MBA Executive Research Project

Access Type

Restricted Access

Executive Summary

The fashion E-Commerce industry in Pakistan has witnessed phenomenal growth in the post-Covid era, witnessing a surge in online shopping. With the global E-Commerce market projected to reach USD 8.1 trillion by 2026 and a significant number of consumers living in Asia, the Pakistani E-Commerce landscape looks promising. Established fashion businesses have expanded their presence both nationally and internationally, by utilizing a blend of both brick-and-mortar and online retail channels. However, for startups and aspiring fashion businesses, navigating the complex fashion retail landscape in Pakistan poses a challenge.

These challenges are not limited to maintaining the online presence of the fashion brand, but often come in terms of scaling the fashion business to a level where it becomes significantly big and self-sustainable. Starting a fashion business is hard work, its journey starts from finding and developing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) while managing the manufacturing of your fashion product and making it available online to the right audience at a competitive price. All this while ensuring that your product brings in new and repeat purchases from customers.

There is a plethora of E-commerce platforms available online, which are easy to set up and operate, however, finding the optimal mix of E-commerce technology that works well together and is not OPEX heavy require patience and trial and error approach by both beginners and experienced entrepreneurs.

The primary aim of this research is to provide a comprehensive overview of how to strengthen a women’s fashion apparel brand online, by identifying the right mix of E-Commerce ecosystem components and overcoming the challenges that come along the entrepreneurial journey. Additionally, the business model canvas and the sustenance model presented in this research identify the key elements involved in online women's fashion apparel businesses in Pakistan.

To accomplish this, a mixed-design approach was employed, combining both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. Qualitative data was gathered through interviews with women’s fashion apparel business operators from both established and startups to gain deeper understanding of the challenges they face in running their business affairs. Moreover, to complement this a senior executive of a well-known E-commerce digital agency was interviewed to gain insights into the technology side of the E-commerce fashion business. Additionally, a survey questionnaire titled “Online Fashion Preferences and Experiences Survey” was sent out to women’s fashion apparel consumers in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to understand consumer behavior and preferences, this quantitative data approach was employed to understand whether the business practices and strategies employed by women’s fashion apparel businesses align with fashion consumers expectations.

The findings in Chapter 4 of this research list the key challenges and concerns highlighted by the fashion business operators, these challenges shed light on the critical issues that directly affect fashion businesses and the resources they use to thrive in the competitive fashion E-commerce environment. Moreover, inputs gained from startup entrepreneurs and technology providers give valuable perspectives of their personal experiences in running a start-up fashion business and the mounting pressure they face to scale the business.

Lastly, the study concludes in Chapter 5, which includes actionable recommendations by the authors. The proposed recommendations address the key findings put forth by the fashion business operators in Chapter 4. It also presents the E-Commerce sustenance model, offering a detailed illustration of interconnected components of E-Commerce ecosystems, with the technology mix of both local and international Software as a Service (SaaS)/Platform as a Service (PaaS) available to fashion businesses. Moreover, it offers a business model canvas of a fashion business operating in Pakistan that works for both established fashion businesses and startups alike.

The purpose of this study is to empower fashion businesses to enhance their online presence by reaching to the fashion consumers both in Pakistan and abroad.


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