The worldwide precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have contributed to increasing reliance on e-commerce platforms, according to Mostafa Hendawy, General Manager of noon.com for e-commerce.
Hendawy said the platforms cater to the demands of individuals and companies as governments encourage their citizens to stay at home.
He said that, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the average daily purchases of various food and health products, disinfection and hygiene products have increased exponentially. There are expectations of further increases in demand, especially with Ramadan around the corner and offers for the holy month now on the platform.
Hendawy added that noon.com supports the measures adopted by the Egyptian government to reduce the economic, social and health effects of the coronavirus, and reduce contact between citizens.
He praised the government’s policies supporting the private sector to withstand the current crisis, specifically small and medium enterprises. Hendawy also stressed that e-commerce platforms actively contribute to strengthening the ability of hundreds of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offer and sell their products in light of the current economic conditions.
Hendawy added that noon.com has also taken all health measures and precautions necessary as instructed by the authorities.
The company’s management issued a decision to ask its employees work from home, and has been careful to implement sterilisation and disinfection procedures in all stores. It also ensures that all workers in storehouses adhere to the instructed rules to limit the spread of the virus.
Hendawy called on the Egyptian government to take advantage of the current opportunity to strengthen the e-commerce system, and advance its strategy to promote financial inclusion and digital transformation. This would be carried out by providing appropriate infrastructure and legislation to encourage e-commerce and attract more investments in this promising sector.
He demanded that the main e-commerce companies be excluded from the curfew issued by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to regulate the movement of individuals. The exemption would allow them to do their work properly nationwide, and would happen in accordance with the standards and measures determined by the Egyptian state.
Hendawy also suggested excluding warehouses affiliated with e-commerce companies, by allowing them to work during curfew hours. Having around-the-clock work in warehouses would enhance their ability to regulate work and meet the needs of clients.
Government support for e-commerce enhances these companies’ ability to contribute to reducing the economic and health effects of the corona virus, meet the basic needs of citizens, and reduce social contact.
Hendawy highlighted the government’s support of SMEs, which contributes to job opportunities, promotes trade and attracts investments. All of these come together to support Egypt’s economy to overcome the current crisis.
Noon is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and Emirati businessman Mohammed Al Abbar, founder and chairman of Emaar group. The company specialises in providing basic consumer goods including groceries, supermarket products, cleaning and disinfection products, electronic devices and children’s supplies.