Master of Business Administration
Faculty / School
Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
Project Coordinator (Internal)
Dr. Nasir Afghan
Committee Member 1
Dr. Nasir Afghan, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi
MBA Research Project
Abstract / Summary
The growth of digital commerce in Pakistan is phenomenal. Local and international companies are tapping into this rapidly developing industry. The growth is such that a Chinese e-commerce giant Ali Baba acquired Pakistan's largest e-commerce company Daraz only a few months after it announced multi-billion rupees investment in acquisition of a local financial service company. Rapid digital transformation as a result of increasing customer expectations is giving boost to thestartup ecosystem in the country. One among such startups is Mandi Express that is working on a mission to bring farmers online and connect them with consumers. Founded in 2015 and backed by private investors, Mandi Express is looking to expand its footprint in Pakistan's online grocery landscape. To run a commercially viable business, it is essential to find out how the country's e-commerce market will evolve in the future. How big is the e-commerce market today? Will Pakistani consumers shift their buying behavior and start buying fresh groceries online? How will Mandi Express include farmers in its supply chain strategy? What do the existing customers think about Mandi Express? What should be its strategy to acquire new customers? To answer these questions, we undertook a research study to examine the company's existing business operations and its competitive frame of reference. We analyzed the company's inbound and outbound logistics where we made visits to the company's warehouse, sabzi mandi where most of the goods are procured from and some of the farmers who are currently supplying items to Mandi Express. We also placed orders online multiple times at different locations to understand the effectiveness of the company's outbound logistics. We conducted in-depth interviews with professionals working in the industry as well as focus groups and surveys to solicit feedback from both users and non-users. A different survey was designed and shared with over 10,000 current users of Mandi Express to understand what they think about the company and the areas they think the company needs to improve. The survey results showed unwillingness by the respondents to shop fresh groceries online due to concerns related to quality, trust and reliability. The preference was higher for other categories like personal care items for which majority of the respondents were already shopping online. However, our own research showed that Mandi Express has created a lot of repeat purchases from existing customers meaning that they provide great quality products. However, Pakistani market does not get convinced so easily. They need to create campaigns and keep working on their customers to convince them that the quality of groceries they provide is the same and sometimes even better than the groceries available at physical stores. After combining the survey results with our own research on the online grocery landscape in the country, we identified critical success factors for Mandi Express and devised a five-year growth strategy to help Mandi Express become a brand that is synonymous with trust and reliability. After carefully analyzing the company's inbound and outbound logistics we have covered the idea of platformification and the associated strategic advantages. We have also presented a prototype which can be piloted by Mandi Express. Recommendations have been mentioned toward the end of the report where we have discussed Mandi Express' target market, communication plan, pricing strategy, inbound and outbound logistics, branding and introduction of new product categories.
Anjum, A., Mahmood, B., Raza, D., Mujtaba, G., Lightwala, R., & Habib, Z. (2018). Mandi express . Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-mba/121
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