While the focus may be shifting to e-commerce websites, small scale businesses are the most affected due to their inability of making their business reach out to the public.
People have resorted to e-commerce to fulfill their needs and this meant that the small to medium scale business, who are unable to reach out to these e-commerce websites are the ones who are suffering. In Nepal, though e-commerce platforms are slowly blooming, certain products are not able to see the light of the open market.
According to a newspaper, the Kathmandu Post, Tek Bahadur Magrati, a small scale businessman, has 1,000 kg of homemade laundry soaps in stock that he has been unable to send to the market. Though he knows about online shopping platforms and is aware that these platforms can help him, he does not have a way to reach out to them. This is the reason that even when the nation is witnessing a gradual increase in the shift to online shopping platforms, due to prope linkage between these platforms and the products, the business is struggling to cope up during lockdown.
Some of the entrepreneurs feel that the online marketplace, which saw a sharp rise in sales during the lockdown because people were confined to their homes, has not been able to promote locally produced goods, according to entrepreneurs. One of the people who is affected by unavailability of proper channels is Kedar Rajbahak, owner of Bishnu Devi Confectionery that makes swirl candy. In the same report of the news outlet, he said, “If there is proper linkage between producers and e-retailers, it will be a big help for small and medium entrepreneurs to market their products.”
And it is only the problem of a proper channel but also these platforms not wanting to sell the local produce and that too coming from a small scale business. Umesh Prasad Singh, acting president of the Federation of Nepalese Cottage and Small Scale Industries, said there are many online platforms, but they are not very keen on selling goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises.
The only solution is to keep an open market for the local produced goods in these capital oriented online platforms. This will not only cater to people who want such products but also will give an opportunity to the small to medium scale businesses to expand their base.
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