By Sandhya D'Mello Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Goodness Cart" offers low-cost, low-risk market expansion opportunities via e-commerce for smaller health-related companies. Founder Geeta Pahlajani also says the company aims to empower consumers to make informed, healthy decisions about products.
The UAE is at the forefront of women empowerment in the region offering secure environment with plenty of opportunity for growth, says Geeta Pahlajani, an entrepreneur and founder of Goodness Cart.
Goodness Cart, a new e-commerce platform caters for all of health and wellness lifestyle needs in the UAE. It brings an entirely new concept of an online marketplace platform.
For the consumer, it provides access to multiple suppliers and brands under one virtual roof, offering access to the best-quality products across a range of categories including natural and organic fresh produce, natural beauty, homecare and baby and child products all sourced from both local and international brands.
For retailers/manufacturers/producers/consultants, Goodness Cart offers low-cost, low-risk market expansion opportunities via e-commerce for small independents as well as greater exposure and a new channel to market for established organizations.
"Goodness Cart was initially conceptualized in 2015 as a small online retailer. However, on understanding this category further, I realized that there was a lot more than was required than just an online shop. Our partners had lots of pain points; they were struggling with reach, pricing and small businesses were not able to grow since they were heavily retailer-dependent. Therefore in 2016 we decided to raise it to a marketplace offering, bringing together all our vendors and partners -- retailers, farms, manufacturers and distributors -- under one roof with an added benefit of logistics, storage, and marketing support.
"This is highly-convenient for the consumer as they don't have to visit lots of different online stores but rather just order through one platform. Moreover, we consolidate, quality check and deliver it as one delivery," the Dubai-born entrepreneur says.
It has been identified that e-commerce will be a mega-trend for businesses in the UAE and is expected to be valued at $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) by the end of 2018. Currently the total value of e-commerce in the UAE is estimated at $2.5 billion (Dh9.2 billion). YouGov's e-commerce tracker's latest findings show that variety and convenience are key to appealing to consumers who are looking for choice, quality products quickly and at reasonable price points.
Goodness Cart aims to empower the consumer to make informed decisions that streamline the journey to a healthy living style as well as the businesses that provide the products and produce. Going well beyond the traditional organic, locally-sourced, fresh produce associated with well-being, Goodness Cart is the first to bring together a carefully-selected supply chain and online marketplace platform with highly-competitive prices making the adoption of a healthier lifestyle accessible and affordable to everyone.
Geeta said: "The UAE is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world and recent developments show that one emerging segment for e-retail is health and wellbeing. The GCC e-commerce market is set to quadruple and reach $20 billion by 2020 according to global consultancy AT Kearney. The idea behind Goodness Cart is to make well-being an accessible, cost-effective, convenient and time-saving solution for everyone whilst going well beyond the one brand solution or fresh produce offering currently available in the Gulf."
This online marketplace showcases a unique offering with the Goodness Cart Lab. The team individually tests every single product that is available on the website before it is delivered to quality control each and every product.
"Click and deliver is a lifestyle solution to everyday needs. The trend is in part driven by the increase in consumer connectivity by the proliferation of connected devices and services in the UAE as well as the increasing trend to move away from a bricks-and-mortar retail experience. In line with the UAE's effort to establish happiness and positivity as a way of life for all, our ambition is to create a community of like-minded people who believe that a healthier lifestyle leads to a happier life and all at the click of a button," adds Geeta.
Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job. A lot of times from the outside it seems like a very rosy space but to be in the grind daily can sometimes take a toll not just on yourself but your family, friends, and everyone around you.
Know this when you start but more importantly, know that at the end it will all be worth the efforts, says Geeta.
Geeta says that women need to stop being a perfectionist. "As women, we all want everything to be perfect. However, if you run your business with this mindset, you need to reconsider as there will never be a point when everything is perfect. Running a business is a journey and it is important to enjoy the ride."