Covid-19 and Innovation in Retail

The Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) organized a webinar session of its Lahore Policy Exchange on “Covid-19 and Innovation in Retail“. The session was held on Wednesday, 1st July from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.
Pakistan’s wholesale and retail trade is the third largest sector in the economy. It bears potential to steer the country’s overall economic growth by possessing a strong influence over contraction and expansion of services and GDP growth. Moreover, due to the growing demand for online purchasing and the surge in increased digital payments amid Covid-19, the sector carries immense potential. Therefore, it is imperative to shed light on the sector’s future, in particular how technology and innovation is helping leverage the retail sector through e-commerce.
The expert panelists provided clarity on issues across the following dimensions:
1. To what extent has traditional retail been affected due to Covid-19 and what has been done to cope with the fallout in demand in the retail sector?
2. To what extent have online markets become a viable solution to sustain demand? Are people purchasing things more online?
3. How can traditional retail stores transition to e-commerce?
The following experts deliberated on Pakistan’s retail issues amid the economic crunch due to COVID-19 as well as how technology can be used to boost the sector:
Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood (Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment);
Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad (Chairman and CEO, Gul Ahmad Group);
Mr. Muneeb Maayr (Founder/CEO, Bykea and co-founder;
Mr. Shehryar Baksh (Managing Director, HKB Private Limited);
Mr. Hamid Zaman (Managing Director, Sefam Private Limited).
The session was moderated by  Ms. Jehan Ara (President, P@SHA and Founder, The Nest I/O).