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:
-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?
-To what extent have online markets become a viable solution to sustain demand? Are people purchasing things more online?
-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:
1) Ms. Jehan Ara (President, P@SHA and Founder, The Nest I/O) – moderator
2) Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood (Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment)
3) Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad (Chairman and CEO, Gul Ahmad Group)
4) Mr. Muneeb Maayr (Founder/CEO, Bykea and co-founder
5) Mr. Shehryar Baksh (Managing Director, HKB Private Limited)
6) Mr. Hamid Zaman (Managing Director, Sefam Private Limited)