Daraz Connect Launched to Drive eCommerce Across Sri Lanka 

 ‘Daraz Connect’ is a national outreach initiative launched recently to enable potential sellers to use e-commerce in Sri Lanka. Through this initiative, Daraz aims to improve digital knowledge and skills around e-commerce, encourage more local production and help consumers connect with new micro, small and medium businesses, especially from rural areas. Each ‘Daraz Connect’ is a physical location that sellers can visit to learn how to sell online and successfully carry out all their e-commerce operations.

Through these locations, sellers access exclusive workshops on product development, marketing and branding. Each ‘Daraz Connect’ is equipped with all the technology needed to run an e-commerce business (such as computers, printers and packaging), and a Daraz Ambassador manages every ‘Daraz Connect’. Daraz Ambassadors will guide the sellers in using e-commerce to reach a much broader customer base. In addition, ‘Daraz Connect’ strives to facilitate a peer-to-peer learning environment for the sellers. Sellers are encouraged to visit the ‘Daraz Connect’ location daily or weekly to check their online orders, fulfil their orders, and work on their business strategy with the help of Daraz and other sellers in similar circumstances.

The first ‘Daraz Connect’ was established in Eheliyagoda, Ratnapura and developed in partnership with the Saubhagya Development Bureau and Eheliyagoda Divisional Secretariat. Commenting on the initiative, the Head of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at Daraz, Anishka De Zylva, said, “E-commerce is a resilient industry and one that will be vital to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery because of its vast export potential. E-commerce is an opportunity for Sri Lanka. It can contribute to solving challenges like low female labour force participation, dependency on the public sector for jobs and high youth unemployment. Through initiatives like Connect, Daraz will continue to do its part in building a more inclusive and diverse e-commerce sector in Sri Lanka.”

Managing Director of Daraz Sri Lanka, Rakhil Fernando, mentioned that “Daraz Connect will enable rural entrepreneurs to take advantage of the platform’s unique strengths and educate them on topics like product quality and consumer rights. Sellers need to know how to leverage the e-commerce ecosystem to reach a wider consumer base. This effort will help them grow and scale their business, eventually providing more employment opportunities. Sri Lanka could potentially be South Asia’s e-commerce hub, and helping our sellers move online and understand the market will be key.  We are grateful to the Saubhagya Development Bureau and the Divisional Secretariat for their support in rolling out this pilot project. We look forward to expanding this initiative across the island.”

Director General of Saubhagya Development Bureau, Wasantha Gunarathna, opined, “The Saubhagya Production Village Programme was launched to promote home-based products, raise the income level of the rural community and uplift the rural economy. Daraz Connect will further propel the aspirations of the Saubhagya Production Village entrepreneurs, mostly low-income earners including Samurdhi recipients, to reach a larger customer base through the power of technology and scale their home-based businesses.”

The soft opening of the first Daraz Connect in Eheliyagoda