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Daily Markup #131: Dawaai is at the forefront of a major shift in Pakistan’s ~US$3 billion…

500 Southeast Asia Team



Disrupting the pharmaceutical supply chain

Credit: Pakistan Today
  • 500-backed healthtech startup Dawaai is striving to be at the forefront of a major shift in Pakistan’s healthcare industry reported to be worth ~US$3 billion according to global healthcare data analytics company IQVIA. Based on Pakistan Today’s analysis of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ (PBS) data, pharmaceutical drugs take up 62% of total healthcare spending in Pakistan.
  • Dawaai is a digital health platform operating as an online pharmacy targeting both the B2B (retail pharmacies, medical stores and businesses) and the B2C segments across the country.
  • Online pharmacies have given the nation’s population of over 200 million greater access to healthcare, currently served by only 4,000 licensed pharmacies.
  • Dawaai’s model, which seeks to provide a better buying experience and lower price points for consumers, is welcomed in the industry, according to Pakistan Today.
  • The entire pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the Pakistani government, who sets both the retail price and the retailers’ margins, thus keeping prices accessible for consumers. While this is beneficial to the end-user, this affects the profit margins in the supply chain.
  • CEO of Dawaai Furquan Kidwai said, “A 1–3% margin [for wholesalers] is just not enough…I suspect the wholesale stage of the supply chain is where counterfeiters are entering the market.”
  • In 2010, then interior minister Rehman Malik estimated that between 45–50% of Pakistani drugs were “fake or of substandard quality”.
  • In an interview with the Business Recorder, Dawaai reported a growth of about 3 to 4X within the span of a few weeks when the pandemic first hit.
  • The company eventually plans to deal directly with manufacturers and distributors, eventually removing wholesalers and retailers, selling legitimate medicines directly to the consumers at a better price and maintaining healthy margins for itself.
  • Read Dawaai’s full feature by Pakistan Today here.

Warranty for peace of mind

Credit: New Straits Times
  • 500-backed Carsome has added a one-year warranty programme to its consumer-first Carsome Promise Package, which already assures buyers they are getting cars that have passed Carsome’s strict 175-point inspection with a five-day money-back guarantee to boot. Any underlying issues during the inspection will be listed for the prospective buyer transparently, and the car will be restored during the reconditioning process.
  • Provided by Allianz Partners Malaysia, this strategic partnership is on track with Carsome’s customer-first focus.
  • As part of this tie-up, a dedicated team at Allianz Partners Malaysia will now handle all the operational aspects of the programme, including managing customer service helplines to handle enquiries about coverage, programme info and full end-to-end customer service delivery.
  • CEO and co-founder Eric Cheng said, “Carsome’s car purchase preference survey showed that 60% of car buyers appreciate an extended warranty. As such, our partnership with Allianz in offering the one-year warranty definitely gives the best value proposition and peace of mind to buyers.”
  • The warranty programme consists of two different packages: The Carsome Gold Plan, which covers the engine, gear transmission, and air conditioning system; and the Carsome Platinum Plan, which covers extra components such as the fuel system, steering, and cooling system, in addition to Roadside Assistance provided by Allianz Partners Malaysia.
  • More details in Carsome’s press release here.

Sustainability in e-commerce

  • Singles’ Day is arguably the most important “holiday” in e-commerce today. Akin to Black Friday, the annual event takes place on the 11th of November. Shoppers come with the expectation to score deals at staggering discounts.
  • For Carousell, 11.11 provides an opportunity for the company to advocate its mission, which is to encourage sustainability with a focus on pre-loved items. In its own words, “recommerce”.
  • On 8th November, just days before the sale, Carousell took to the streets of Singapore’s Orchard Road, hoping to spark a change in the consumption patterns in the e-commerce industry.
  • With banners on his shoulders and hand gripping a loudhailer, local actor Erwin Shah can be heard saying these simple words, “No 11.11 sale.”
Credit: Marketing Interactive
  • In a statement, Cassandra Leong, Head of Regional Brand at Carousell, explained, “During the 11.11 season, we usually see a frenzy of buying, because of time-pressured flash deals that consumers are afraid of missing out on. We wanted to remind consumers that on Carousell, there’s no need to rush for sales because our prices are lower all year round.”
  • On social media, through an open letter, it reiterated that Carousell consumers didn’t have to join in on the 11.11 mega sale rush because the platform’s prices are always comparative to sale prices.
  • “Instead of camping at your computer for sales to drop, use today to take it easy. Maybe call a loved one, or take a well-deserved nap?” the caption reads.
  • In Singapore, Carousell has been actively driving traffic to its platform through different initiatives. Recently, it announced a tie-up with creative agency 72andSunny to launch an automotive campaign in the island-nation. Displaying ads near showrooms and dealers, Carousell addresses buyers at each stage of the car purchase journey with a playful twist.
  • “We value 72andSunny as a strategic and creative partner who understands our business and works together to drive our growth. It was great to reunite with them as we expand the cars category for Carousell,” said Cassandra.

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500 Southeast Asia Team