PasarTap collaborates with state government to launch in Penang
By Anushia Kandasivam November 8, 2017
- Collaboration with Penang’s SMART Centre
- Local producers to have access to wider market
MALAYSIAN online grocery platform PasarTap is expanding its services to the northern Malaysian state of Penang with the help of collaboration with the Penang state government through the SMART Centre initiative. PasarTap Penang will launch in December this year.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Market Advisory Resource and Training Centre is an initiative by the state government and its investment promotion arm investPenang to provide market intelligence, business advisory, information and resources, and training services to local SMEs.
The collaboration will see PasarTap providing local ‘pasar’ (wet market) vendors access to online consumers and the SMART Centre providing the startup access to local wet markets and local agencies involved in the food production chain, as well as access to all state marketing platforms, both online and offline.
The state government will also upgrade the Internet bandwidth in the wet markets so that vendors will be better able to receive orders as well as update their inventories.
According to PasarTap chief executive officer Hisham Talib, the Penang state government invited the startup to talk about entering Penang after learning about the PasarTap’s involvement with the Selangor state government in a similar collaboration.
Hisham explains that the Penang state government saw the value PasarTap could provide to local food producers as a platform that can connect them directly to end consumers, whether the connection is business-to-consumer or business-to-business.
“We can create an alternative food supply chain that really connects producers to consumers using technology,” says Hisham, adding that there is much potential for speciality local foods and food products that are not currently widely marketed to reach new consumers through the online platform.
PasarTap was launched in Kuala Lumpur early last year and has served more than 50,000 users and worked with hundreds of suppliers in two of the largest ‘pasar’ in Kuala Lumpur – Pasar Borong Selayang and Pasar Awam Chow Kit.
According to Hisham, Penang was chosen for expansion because it has a ready market of users, the high mobile penetration rate among the middle class signalling a tech-savvy population with high purchasing power. PasarTap’s service is expected to blend well with the sizeable expatriate community in Penang that is already familiar with the concept of online grocery ordering and delivery.
This is only the second online grocery service to open in Penang after Tesco launched its service in 2013. PasarTap is able to distinguish its service from Tesco because it sources its produce from wet markets and local producers.
“Penang is ideal in terms of demography and geography. Our model will work well with Penang’s smaller delivery radius. As far as we can see, Penang has the necessary ingredients to become a smart city and we want to be part of that story,” says Hisham.
He adds that PasarTap Penang will make it possible for everyone in the state to buy from their neighbourhood pasar, access fresh produce from local vendors and take advantage of competitive pricing without the inconvenience of actually having to go to the wet markets. “Local food producers will have access to a bigger market. They will become a real option from which e-commerce-savvy consumers can procure their weekly groceries and household needs. The pasar will be competing on a more level playing feel with the big grocery retail chains in the market,” he says.
PasarTap offers services to both the end consumer and business owners. It currently offers the lowest delivery fee of all grocery delivery services in Malaysia at RM3 for same-day delivery of fresh groceries.
A fully integrated cashless solution for restaurants and cafes will be rolled out in June 2018.