Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Kapruka CEO’s Eisenhower Fel­low­ship brings wealth of knowl­edge to Sri Lanka’s e-com­merce eco-sys­tem

- By Raj Moor­thy Dwight D. Eisenhower · Fellowship · Sri Lanka · Lanka · United States of America · Fellowship Foundation · Amazon · PayPal · European Union · India · Japan · Business Times · Bonanza

While re­ceiv­ing his first Eisenhower Fel­low­ship in the US this year, Kapruka. com CEO Dulith Herath brings to Sri Lanka a wealth of in­for­ma­tion, knowl­edge and ideas to boost the e- com­merce eco- sys­tem in the coun­try.

Eisenhower Fel­low­ship is a world renowned plat­form in the US where en­trepreneur­s meet world lead­ers and dig­ni­taries from var­i­ous fields of ex­per­tise, par­tic­i­pate to share and pro­mote ideas and to fos­ter re­la­tion­ships as part of the network of shar­ing ideas and vi­sion for the fu­ture.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with the Busi­ness Times Kapruka. com CEO and co- founder of Grasshop­pers, Dulith Herath shared his ex­per­tise knowl­edge and plans for the fu­ture.

Mr. Herath said, “I had 115 meet­ings in six weeks in nine cities dur­ing the Eisenhower Fel­low­ship in the US. The Fel­low­ship se­lects only one en­tre­pre­neur from 20 coun­tries, brings them to the US and gives them the op­por­tu­nity to meet who­ever they want. All the meet­ings I had are with com­pa­nies that are not even heard of, but thriv­ing. The knowl­edge I got is phe­nom­e­nal and one- on- one meet­ings with the CEO’s of those com­pa­nies.”

While Sri Lanka is lag­ging with ex­ports and mar­ket­ing lo­cal prod­ucts to coun­tries abroad, Mr. Herath dur­ing one of the Eisenhower Fel­low­ship meet­ings got the coun­try ac­count for Ama­zon. com in Sri Lanka. Now lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers can sell their prod­ucts on­line through Ama­zon by hav­ing the prod­uct in Sri Lanka.

“We are get­ting all ex­porters in Sri Lanka to list their prod­ucts on Ama­zon un­der Kapruka. We will buy the prod­ucts from the lo­cal seller and Grasshop­pers will ex­port them from Sri Lanka to the US,” stated Mr. Herath while adding, Grasshop­pers has fig­ured out the best cross bor­der ship­ping meth­ods. “The in­ven­tory stays in Sri Lanka un­til we hit an or­der,” he noted.

Par­al­lel to Ama­zon, the prod­ucts will also be listed on Bo­nanza. com and few other plat­forms, so ‘we’ may get the hit from any of them, he said. When there is an or­der, Grasshop­pers will do the lo­gis­ti­cal oper­a­tion to move the prod­ucts to the US. Ship­ping costs will be brought down to a phe­nom­e­nal level by us­ing pas­sen­ger air­crafts. “Kapruka. com has PayPal ac­counts and some­how the money will reach the coun­try,” stated Mr. Herath.

He also stressed that no­body was able to open the door of sell­ing lo­cal prod­ucts on Ama­zon or any other global e- com­merce plat­forms. “It was very dif­fi­cult to pen­e­trate even to a ju­nior level per­son at Ama­zon. Be­cause of the Eisenhower Fel­low­ship it was pos­si­ble for me to meet the head of ‘ Ful­fill­ment by Ama­zon’ and get the coun­try ac­count for Ama­zon in Sri Lanka then and there it­self, since the ground work has been done ear­lier,” he stated.

Ini­tial op­er­a­tions will start in three mar­kets; Ama­zon- US, Ama­zon- EU and Ama­zon- India. Ja­pan is an­other ma­jor mar­ket, a very fast mov­ing ma­ture e-com­merce mar­ket.

Sri Lanka is an im­ma­ture e- com­merce mar­ket, Mr. Herath noted, elab­o­rat­ing that out of 21 mil­lion peo­ple in Sri Lanka only 500,000 peo­ple use e- com­merce. The pop­u­la­tion is dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the en­gage­ment of peo­ple on e- com­merce. Sri Lanka has a huge po­ten­tial to be­come a ma­ture mar­ket like the US and Ja­pan, he noted.

 ??  ?? Mr. Dulith Herath with for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State, Gen­eral Colin Pow­ell in the US.
Mr. Dulith Herath with for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State, Gen­eral Colin Pow­ell in the US.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka