THE Ramadan season would usually have people flocking to the bazaars to grab their favourite meals and kuih.
But with the Covid-19 pandemic raging, the festivities will be scaled down in light of strict social restrictions and physical distancing.
While some of us can sit out and wait till it is safe to walk in a crowd again, local vendors who work hard to put food on the table have no choice but to navigate through these trying times.
Abe’s Nasi Kukus Ayam Berempah owner Mohd Nujhan Zulkifli has been running a food truck for the past three years prior to the pandemic and during Ramadan would operate at his local bazaar in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
However, with restrictions in place, Mohd Nujhan was worried he would not be able to sell his nasi kukus ayam berempah during the Ramadan season.
Knowing that food operators like Mohd Nujhan are in a dilemma, the good folks at Lazada Malaysia sought him out to bring his business online.
“As we were approaching the holy month of Ramadan and the CMCO was not lifted, I was worried about my food truck business and what I could do to earn a living.
“Lazada offered me a lifeline to take my business online via their Lazat Bazaar. If not for this leap into the digital space, coupled with Lazada’s guidance and support, I would have been in trouble, ” said Mohd Nujhan.
Now that his business is on Lazada’s Lazat Bazaar, Mohd Nujhan sees at least 15 orders daily during the Ramadan season.
Lazat Bazaar is a month-long online food festival for the Ramadan month, providing same-day delivery for cooked-to-order and fresh food.
The online food festival was established to support local merchants, like Abe’s Nasi Kukus Berempah.
No commission fee
Sellers who are Lazada’s Pintar Niaga merchants and Marketplace sellers will not be imposed any commission fee.
“With the recent commission charges by other ecommerce players in the market, Lazada continues to provide a much needed lifetime to small businesses through its stimulus plans and programmes, as it understands the difficulties that small business owners face during these unprecendented times, ” said Mohd Nujhan.
“To be able to operate online without being charged a commission fee is a further blessing because, in these hard times, even a small percentage can impact my livelihood.
“I’m grateful that a large company like Lazada cares about the little people and offer us assistance like this, ” he said.
Pakej Pintar Niaga
Pakej Pintar Niaga is an extension of Lazada’s Pakej Kedai Pintar 2.0 stimulus plan that was designed for new sellers to ensure business continuity during the Covid-19 economic lockdowns – especially merchants in the fresh food and groceries business and offline retailers.
Lazada aims for this initiative to ease digital adoption among vendors and foster long-term business sustainability and growth for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“With the pandemic still ongoing, businesses continue to struggle, especially during the Ramadan period as many rely on the busy season to earn additional income for the year, ” said Lazada Malaysia chief business officer Sherry Tan.
“This is why we launched the Lazat Bazaar online food festival, to support Ramadan traders who have been impacted by the restrictions.
“Lazada has been championing the digitisation of businesses for a long time now, ” she added.
“During the first round of lockdown, many businesses believed they could hold out until the pandemic is over, not realising the importance of digital transformation for business sustainability.
“To help SMEs that want to shift online but are hesitant to enter the ecommerce space, our Pintar Niaga programme removes barriers of entry with hands-on guidance and support that they need to evolve and thrive in the local economy, ” she said.
Lazada rolled out its Pakej Kedai Pintar 2.0 a week after the second MCO was announced in January this year.
Pakej Kedai Pintar 2.0 with an increased stimulus of some RM44mil has assisted 70,000 SMEs in their digital journey.
This is based on the success of Pakej Kedai Pintar 1.0. Being the first mover in the ecommerce industry, Lazada injected RM10mil into the programme to support 50,000 SMEs three weeks after the first MCO was implemented in March 2020.
Throughout the MCO periods, Lazada has seen millions of orders placed via the platform, with an increase of nearly 80% on average compared to pre-MCO times.
The number of new SME sellers coming onboard Lazada increased by 300%, diversifying revenue streams to meet the rising demand from online shoppers.