‘Women in eCommerce 2022’ beckons a more inclusive e-commerce industry in APAC

 Women in eCommerce 2022, a summit convened by Daraz, was held at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo last week. The event was a full-day learning experience for business owners, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. The conference brought together women from diverse backgrounds and expertise to encourage disruption and innovation in digital commerce.

​Through networking sessions, example-driven discussions, and workshops by trendsetters across the Asia-Pacific region, participants could draw from a compendium of remarkable expertise and knowledge backed by practical examples that included stories of success and obstacles overcome by women leaders in the sphere of digital commerce.

The keynote address delivered by Shabana Badami, Head of Performance Solutions for Southeast Asia at Google (Singapore), was a major highlight of the event and presented valuable insights related to trends and the future of women and technology. This keynote was followed by three power-packed panel discussions led by entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, policy influencers, and e-commerce advocates, including Myntra, CoNatural, Suta, Uber Eats, Airbnb, Women in Tech, Hatch, Vitawell, and Daraz. The panels highlighted valuable and inspiring ideas and dialogues amongst the participants.  Shaping a fearless future for women in e-commerce, policies and strategies for a more inclusive labour market, and the role of platforms and collective action in enabling women in e-commerce were the central themes discussed at the event.

The conference also included “Soundbites” or short talks by the next generation of women business leaders to bring fresh perspectives to the forefront of discussions on e-commerce and the digital economy. Sabrina Esufally, Managing Director of Consumer Brands at Hemas Sri Lanka, delivered an empowering talk on driving meaningful change through female corporate leadership. Saira Nanji, Managing Director at Barressential Sri Lanka, gave a moving message on how she and her partner built a unique and niche e-commerce-led health and fitness brand in Sri Lanka, where e-commerce is still in nascent stages.

The conference concluded with three interactive workshops for attendees on “How Powerful Women Find Balance” conducted by Zornica Zafirova, COO of Daraz Group (Singapore); “Impactful Storytelling: How to Develop Compelling Marketing for Your Brand” led by Sanjini Munaweera, Country Director of ADA (Sri Lanka); and “How to Own Your Story and Build Your Brand” by Mimi Nicklin, Author and Brand Strategist (USA).

Commenting on the event’s success, Anishka De Zylva, Head of Public Policy, Corporate Affairs, and ESG at Daraz Sri Lanka and Chief Convener of the event, said: “The response to the first-ever Women in e-commerce 2022 summit held by Daraz has been overwhelmingly positive. We are honoured and thrilled to have been able to unite some brilliant and diverse women from different spheres of digital commerce in Sri Lanka and the wider region. What was really inspiring about the conference was that many attended with a shared purpose, to exchange ideas, and advocate for a more inclusive e-commerce industry. This outcome is a big step towards encouraging more female labour force participation in the e-commerce industry. We will continue to open more opportunities for women in e-commerce to interact with each other and uplift communities through the power of commerce.”

Participants at the Women in eCommerce – A summit by Daraz

Panellists (L-R) – Anishka De Zylva – Head of Public Policy, Corporate Affairs, & ESG at Daraz SL, Simrin Singh -Country Director. ILO, SL & Maldives, Anoji De Silva, Chairperson, Women’s Chamber of Industry & Commerce SL, Zornica Zafirova, COO Daraz Group & Sanjini Munaweera, Country Director, ADA SL

Sabrina Esufally –  MD Consumer Brands at Hemas addressing the summit