Executing Ideas over Generating Ideas – Heshan and his success story of Daraz – Heshan Perera, Head of Marketing at Daraz Sri Lanka

Heshan Perera, of Daraz, Sri Lanka, is an executor. He focuses his energy on making sure what is thought of is done. Daraz started its journey from Pakistan and slowly made its dominance felt by the rest of the world by moving into Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Heshan holds the position of Head of Marketing at Daraz, Sri Lanka, the largest eCommerce platform in the country. According to Heshan, Daraz aims to improve the overall e-commerce experience of people. Not only for those who are new and are trying out e-commerce but also for those who have long been customers, by proceeding to improve their quality of life by simplifying it. Taking us through the success story, Heshan recounts the days back, when Daraz was still novel and struggled to exist with its overwhelming logistical issues. During those days, Daraz was a platform that was solely focused on online shopping back in the days, which made way for the issue of deliveries. 

Heshan says that being acquired by the Ali Baba group in 2018 aided the fast growth of Daraz. Ali Baba had eyes and faith in this growing icon, seeing the influence it has on the South-East Asian market, and invested enough to get Daraz scaling quickly, and it has been thriving since. This much-needed push helped enable all the technology-related updates that seamlessly allowed Daraz to dominate e-commerce  in Sri Lanka within no time. Daraz has thus managed to make great strides in the journey towards customer satisfaction. Undoubtedly, this development of Daraz made them the benchmark and the dominant competition, standing tall above all other developing sites. According to Heshan, that giant leap has only gotten wider and smoother, with operations getting better and better as the years passed.

Daraz has stepped up their game from allowing mainly shopping experiences to gaming within the app which allows customers to earn gems that they can redeem through purchases, entertainment options, and making life easier by allowing many traditional offline activities to be easily done through the Daraz app. Heshan also shared that they look forward to making live streaming available in the app, along with options that can make traveling effortless for everyone once the COVID19 situation comes to a settlement. He believes that giving what the customers may be looking for and can have more fun with, gets them to linger longer in the app and allows the brand to implant a positive impression closer to the customers’ hearts. 

With only about 20% of the potential market involved in the e-commerce sector, Heshan sees an immense space for the business to grow. However, that is never without difficulty. He identifies the tech-savvy audience as their most active, but also a lot of doubt associated with the online market. Every touch and every swipe the customer takes in the app should be diligently thought through to make sure their experience was nothing but the best and would keep them coming back. Especially when the majority of citizens are still getting used to the concept of e-commerce. “Growth, retention, customer lifetime value, if I had to pick the top 3”, added Heshan, referring to the top 3 of his marketing strategies and objectives.

According to Heshan, the brand thrives on the outlook for the future. He believes that those who are digitally native and are not new to technology will more comfortably adapt to e-commerce in no time. With the pace at which technology is taking over lives, it is his confident belief that very soon, the target audience will grow and shift to a much younger crowd. 

“I’m a firm believer in making things happen. Marketing is nothing without the people who are behind the screen executing it. For me, execution  slightly edges out ideas. Ideas can be easier to come up with than executing them”, added Heshan. He believes it is better to do, do and do and is an outstanding icon of a successful do-er himself.

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