Businesspeople won’t throw up their arms in despair and tell you that they are nervous about what the budget for the year 2019 would bring, but they are anxiously awaiting its details, and are bracing themselves for any impacts of new tax laws and reforms.
This was revealed to The Island Financial Review by Lahiru Pathmalal, co-founder/CEO of Takas (Pvt) Ltd. when Takas.lk, launched its flagship store in Colombo 4, to enable its customers to enjoy a seamless shopping experience that encompasses online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar options.
Making pretty good sense of his business confidence, Lahiru said, “I think many are relieved that the recent constitutional crisis is over and things are stabilising allowing consumer confidence to bounce back in the festive season. It is still too early to judge how fast things would bounce back, but at last, we can be hopeful”.
“The recent political crisis had a huge impact on the market. It had a significant impact on our company’s top and bottom lines. We experienced lack of consumer confidence during the crisis. It convinced us that when there’s a crisis like that in the country, consumers become wary about their future and don’t spend money on products”, he said.
“Sri Lankan consumer behaviour in buying goods online is still not where it should be. There are many reasons for it. One; online companies like ourselves haven’t spent enough money for brand building. Another reason is Sri Lanka’s telco data costs are higher than in the regional countries. So consumers try to reduce their internet data usage which is not a desirable development for online stores such as ours. Regional countries have cheaper data plans, and so their online stores can spend a lot of money to attract customers to buy products online. For us, this is not possible, especially Sri Lanka being a small market, he said.
The opening of the Takas.lk Flagship Store featured a number of high profile business leaders including Takas (Pvt) Ltd board members and investors as well as several of its main suppliers.
Located in the heart of Colombo, at 288 Galle Road, Bamabalapitya, this new Flagship Store is a first for Takas.lk, marking its shift to an omni-channel or multichannel sales approach that will undoubtedly provide even more convenience and benefits for its customers.
“Takas.lk, being the largest pure play e-commerce site in Sri Lanka, is excited to explore the omni-channel experience and its many potential benefits to our loyal customers and partners. We feel the store concept will aid in online consumers being confident in terms of online buying, so the trust element will definitely increase, Lahiru said.
Following the launch of the flagship store, Takas.lk plans to roll out similar stores in all major towns across Sri Lanka. “Around 6% of the revenue for Takas.lk currently comes from Monaragala and we also do really well in Gampaha and in other key local markets. Any town has the potential to be very successful, so we are looking at all locations, Lahiru said.