E-commerce redefining the world

The second roundtable session on e-commerce kicked off in somewhat dramatic fashion with the sole representative from an e-commerce platform warning the traditional air cargo sector that it needs to understand e-commerce, adapt and innovate fast, otherwise new players will move in with solutions that the sector is seeking. Chaired by Contineo Media editor Pradeep Chakraborty, the roundtable participants took a deep dive into the issues and opportunities inherent in this rapidly developing business area. By Donald Urquhart and Nikky Collamat.

Session 2 Round Table 2

The opportunity is there however I sincerely believe that the air cargo market has to transform and has to innovate accordingly, ” said Syed Ali Ridha Madihid, regional director (operations & supply chain), ZALORA Southeast Asia. Zalora which started in late 2011 as part of Rocket Internet’s venture into Southeast Asia is primarily a B2B2C company with a small B2C component, involved in the online fashion and apparel space.

In particular, the industry needs to move while e-commerce is still in its infancy, particularly in Southeast Asia where Internet penetration is only at eight per cent and e-commerce penetration is only a mere three per cent. “Th e potential for service providers like airlines, airport operators, ground handlers and freight forwarders to collaborate is massive, however you need to adapt fast, ” Madihid said, adding that one year for the air cargo sector is equivalent to one month in the fast moving e-commerce realm.

“We are shifting things much faster than you, so if you don’t innovate fast enough we will basically do things on our own – we will become the service provider, we will become the last mile provider and eventually we may even buy airports. So what I’m trying to say is that the opportunity is there for the industry, but it needs to understand and adapt as fast possible. ”