Trader joins platform

Vodafone’s Shailendra Prasad (far right) joins, from right, Fiji Traders director Azel Raj, Prish Raj, Haafi q Buksh and Jayesh Sali of VitiKart, to cut the cake marking the opening of their shop in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we work, travel, communicate, shop and do business.

Vodafone Fiji head of E-Commerce Shailendra Prasad said while some developments had been sudden and involuntary, for others the pace of adoption had accelerated with behavioural change already in motion before the pandemic.

“This is certainly true for digital payments and online shopping,” he said.

He made the comments yesterday at the opening of Fiji Traders’ new branch in Suva. Fiji Traders managing director Azel Raj said they were glad to be back in business.

Mr Raj said Fiji Traders had been operating since 2016 and had listed on the Vodafone’s Vitikart platform.

According to Mr Raj there was a huge uptake and increase in demand for electronic items, IT solutions and other digital solutions because most of the people and businesses were now operating online.

He said with their products listed on the Vitikart platform they would be able to reach majority of their customers and buyers both local and overseas.

“We wanted to give maximum mileage to the customers whether in Fiji or abroad.”

Mr Prasad said Fiji Traders coming onboard at this time was also entitled to two-year free monthly subscription under the Vitikart Subsidy Scheme for MSMES as earlier announced.

“This means that to trade online, Fiji Traders will not be paying any fixed monthly subscription for next 24 months. It’s a zero-rental platform for the next two years,” said Mr Prasad.

“What this means is that Fiji Traders get to list and advertise on the Vitikart platform their range of products for customers anywhere in Fiji. This saves the business from added costs of setting up and managing their ecommerce platform, while at the same time exposes their brand to Vodafone’s wide reach with easy payment option through M-PAiSA and Visa and Mastercard. “Vodafone Fiji Ltd itself uses the platform to sell its own range of devices and accessories online.”

He said the new initiative was open to any micro, small and medium enterprises, adding that there were about 14 businesses that were in the process of placing their products on the Vitikart platform.

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