Ceena Naeem

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown by the government though proved catastrophic for the economy, yet people having creative minds turned this challenge into an opportunity to boost their businesses and attract more customers.

People having a knowhow of computer and the internet converted their businesses online and made it easy for their customers to avail the services while staying at home and following the corona SOPs.

Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, Aisha Khan had set up a boutique at her home in the Saddar area. He had also rented a rack in a shop where she had put her products on display. When the government announced lockdown and ordered shuttering of markets and bazaars, Aisha launched her online boutique and soon she started selling products and receiving orders for more stuff.

“My sale increased two times during the lockdown period. It is easy for the customers as well because we deliver products at their doorstep. The customers made payment after their satisfaction. Usually, we receive payment after delivering the stuff to the customers,” she tells TNN.

Aisha launched her online boutique and soon she started selling products and receiving orders for more stuff

The lockdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic brought certain positive changes in less developed and radical societies like ours even though the pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of human lives and caused severe dents to the global economy. The culture of internet-based online businesses, though, not a new phenomenon in many countries, has gained popularity even among the Pashtun society in these Covid-infested times.

The internet, especially, social media has proved a better platform not only for connecting people from different cultures and backgrounds, but it also helped in establishing new vistas for potential entrepreneurs. People have been using social media tool for marketing and expanding their businesses. Educational institutions have also been using the platform for reaching out to the students and organizing online classes. Similarly, the corporate sector is also getting advantage from the facility in holding online meetings with their organizational staff and other business entities.

Shafiq Gigyani, a noted online-marketer and social worker believes that online culture will benefit the budding and young Pashtun entrepreneurs in the days to come. “Our youth should be opened to challenges of the modern-day. They must learn the new skills and adopt them as the online business has a bright future,” he says.

A visible increase has also been witnessed in the number of online buyers over the period as more people are inclined towards internet-based shopping. Though the majority of the people prefer to go to markets physically and buy items of their needs, still many people order online delivery instead to save time and energy.

Nida Khan, a resident of Peshawar says online shopping does not satisfy her because of the poor quality and standard of the merchandise.

“I have a bad experience of ordering goods online,” she says. “Many fraudsters are fleecing people while delivering merchandise at home. The products they deliver to the customers are usually the same they display online. That’s why I prefer to go outside and physically buy household items,” she remarks. She, however, admits online shopping is sometimes a better option especially in these COVID-infested times.

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