Local annual domestic e-commerce sales value expected to grow to $ 400 million by 2022-23
With over three decades of disrupting the local automotive, manufacturing and after-market solutions industry, Ideal Group, headed by visionary entrepreneur Nalin Welgama, in keeping with his ethos of growth through innovation, made a move pertinent with the ‘new normal’ by acquiring one of the pioneers in the Sri Lankan e-commerce industry, Takas.lk.
Having invested heavily in developing capacity in the Sri Lankan automotive sector, Ideal Group of Companies Founder and Executive Chairman Nalin Welgama is determined that a Sri Lankan built and operated company be in the forefront of e-commerce in Sri Lanka. “The Ideal Group has and always will be driven by innovation, hence our foray into the digital space with Takas.lk is both timely and appropriate,” said Welgama. “We promise to strengthen Takas.lk, making it the most valuable e-commerce company in Sri Lanka. The collaborative synergies of the Ideal Group of Company’s island-wide touch points will further enable us to provide an unmatched service, hitherto not experienced.”
Takas.lk commenced operations in 2012 and since then has grown to be a household name in Sri Lanka. Indeed, Takas was the first company to introduce cash on delivery (COD), and enable the tokenisation of credit cards. Since inception Takas has taken great pride in being a Sri Lankan company that has served Sri Lankans both here and abroad, adding value and giving satisfaction. Furthermore, the technology stack-which Takas operates on has been built completely in-house, and to date has enabled e-commerce businesses in Sri Lanka as well as overseas markets.
Speaking at the launch which was limited to a few stakeholders due to the COVID situation,Welgama said, “e-commerce is the way of the future and is the new normal. e-commerce is here to stay, and even when the COVID situation eases, our lifestyles and methods of business have been irrevocably transformed. We will focus on expanding market share as more companies move their businesses online. What will be key from here onwards will be sustainability of demand from newly acquired merchants. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of online shopping and with it the gross merchandise volumes. Therefore, we must capitalise on the prevailing strong e-commerce trends and provide many businesses a life line during these challenging macroeconomic conditions.”
As per statistics, Sri Lanka’s annual domestic e-commerce sales value including services is an estimated $ 40-60 million. This is expected to grow to $ 400 million by 2022-23. “Currently, only 0.3% of Sri Lanka’s total annual retail sales ($ 13 billion) are via e-commerce, thus the opportunity is huge.”
Takas.lk is known for its large manage-marketplace for electronics and under the new ownership will expand on this range of products.
Since its acquisition by the Ideal Group, Takas.lk has quickly expanded into the gift giving segment, daily essentials, and cakes/flowers. “We will be working with Sri Lankan suppliers and empowering them, giving them the ability to function on a basis of ‘business as usual’ during these difficult times.” Takas’ new location on Rosmead Place too is more convenient and better equipped to service their customers.
Subsequent to the acquisition, the existing Takas.lk management team including Lahiru Pathmalal will remain to guide the company through its transition and will work together with the Ideal team for a stipulated period in their current roles, ensuring a seamless transition. Commenting on the acquisition, Takas.lk Co-founder Lahiru Pathmalal said, “Having been a part of Takas.lk from day one, I have a strong understanding of the key operations required for the success of Takas. I like to think I have a creative approach to the industry, and this combined with the wealth of resources the Ideal Group brings to play in the e-commerce game, makes me excited and motivated to help shape its future.”
Under its new mantle, Takas.lk has a vision of becoming ‘The’ one stop-shop for all consumer requirements and is committed to follow a service first philosophy!