LMD BUSINESS MAGAZINE - JUNE 2013
Dulith Herath, Entrepreneur and Web Technologies Specialist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Kapruka.com, keeps his legacy of setting new benchmarks in Sri Lanka`s nascent e-commerce industry alive and well with his latest venture. The one-of-its-kind `Kapruka Global Shop` was unveiled to shoppers in May 2013 to offer discerning shoppers products ranging across every conceivable category. This wide shopping experience is made possible by Kapruka`s tie-up with amazon.com and ebay.com online shopping portals which together offer more than 50 million products to Kapruka customers.
The Kapruka Global Store has a futuristic appearance to attract the shopper, who is led to individual computer consoles which link directly to Amazon or e-bay portals. Herath explains why shoppers benefit from ordering online via Kapruka as opposed to shopping on their own. "Firstly, online shopping is a relatively unknown concept to many in Sri Lanka who are unaware of how it works. In such a case, we will be the interface for these people and demonstrate to them the fantastic bargains you can get on products when you shop online as compared to visiting brick and mortar stores. Secondly, the people who are accustomed to order online are often disheartened by the high shipping rates to Sri Lanka and other incremental problems that might crop up. This is the niche we occupy - helping customers who shop at the Kapruka Global Store by informing them of the cheap shipping rates we charge, since we take over the duty of taking delivery of their products from the online store, then shipping them to Sri Lanka and even clearing them from customs. As a result, after the customer has ordered online at our store, all he has to do is to return on the agreed date to collect his order," he says.
By keeping their commissions low, the Kapruka Global Store has essentially deterred copy cat sites, while being pleased with the fact that its customers can avail of a much reasonable online shopping experience when they shop at its store. Moreover, Herath has simplified the online shopping experience for customers, because Kapruka operates a container to Sri Lanka every fortnight from US, in which orders via the Kapruka Global Shop are shipped to a US-based address, which is then transported to Colombo in the container within a very short period of time, thereby reducing shipping rates substantially. Low shipping rates, high quality American products and no hidden costs are the clear advantages that Kapruka offers.
Herath plans to make the Kapruka Global Store inclusive by expanding to Kandy , Galle, Kurunegala, and elsewhere in the near future as in his opinion everyone in Sri Lanka should be able to access the fantastic bargains available for Kapruka Global Store shoppers. Herath intends to persevere in his pioneering role and feels that the Global Store will bring about a revolution in the way customers shop. "The Kapruka Global Store will liberate shoppers in unimaginable ways because of the sheer choice of products where your imagination and tastes need not be curbed. You can browse for just about any item you have ever wished to possess and find it at the click of a button. Our online shopping managers will be on hand to guide customers if they need help. Best of all, you have to pay a nominal fee once you order and pay the rest only on delivery," he stresses.
In time to come, he might even consider stocking inventory of fast moving items so that customer can walk in, buy and walk out with the products. Thus far, Kapruka was focused on wooing two million Sri Lankan Diaspora wanting to gift their loved ones in Sri Lanka. Today, Kapruka has become the single-most used portal for Diaspora to reach out to family and friends in Sri Lanka. The success of this endeavour has inspired Herath to consider backward integration, even setting up flower farms and a state-of-the-art bakery to cater to the popular flower and cakes orders that come pouring in round the year.
While he credits his young and dynamic staff for the success of Kapruka, it is evident that the entrepreneur in him has brought his education in the US and work experience with Microsoft and Dell to bear on his success thus far. Kapruka was set up in 2003 at a time when e-commerce was not even on the radar for shoppers in Sri Lanka, which is why he reversed his attention to the Diaspora - more tech savvy and accustomed to online shopping. Today, Kapruka is a billion-rupee company with many more big dreams to achieve over and above having become Sri Lanka`s most popular and largest online store.
Sri Lanka`s largest e-commerce organization, Kapruka.com has unveiled an exciting shopping experience to Sri Lankans through its 'Kapruka Global Shop' which will give customers access to over 50 million global products.
Dulith Herath, Entrepreneur and Web Technologies Specialist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Kapruka.com, keeps his legacy of setting new benchmarks in Sri Lanka`s nascent e-commerce industry alive and well with his latest venture.
Following its overwhelming success with the launch of Sri Lanka`s first-ever `global shopping` concept, Kapruka, in its continuing efforts to innovate and provide its growing customer base with the best of service, recently introduced a shipping facility to transport heavy products to Sri Lanka from the United States.
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