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Pathao Partners With Shwapno, Expands Pathao Tong in Multiple Cities

The News: Pathao has partnered with Shwapno, the country’s largest retail brand super shop chain, to expand Pathao Tong, Pathao’s on-demand grocery and essential goods delivery service, in cities across Bangladesh where Shwapno has a presence. 

The partnership will allow Pathao users to order from 132 outlets of Shwapno across Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, and Comilla and is likely to offer strategic benefits to both Shwapno and Pathao. Pathao recently relaunched its grocery and essential goods delivery service Tong amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

The details: Pathao Tong was first launched in 2018 as an essential goods delivery service from Pathao. Pathao later folded the service without an announcement. The company relaunched Tong this month amid the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown in Bangladesh. The service, which is now fully operational and covers multiple cities, allows customers to order essential goods and get them delivered at their doorsteps allowing them to stay home and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.  

I have written about Pathao Tong in the past here and more recently here. 

  • Partnering with Shwapno allows Pathao to reliably expand its service in multiple cities amid the coronavirus pandemic, when the food supply chain has greatly been affected across the country, by delivering a wide range of products including fresh groceries to daily necessities. 
  • Using Shwapno outlets Pathao can implement a hyper-local delivery model for grocery delivery across locations. The company promises 40 minutes delivery. 
  • While Shwapno has an on-demand delivery and ecommerce operation called Shwapno Express, the service remains limited and is unlikely to be able to serve the spike in orders due to the COVID-19 lockdown. On top of that, Shwapno lacks the infrastructure needed for ensuring a full-fledged delivery operation that can reliably serve customers in a crisis like this. A partnership with Pathao allows Shwapno to serve a larger number of customers who are not visiting groceries anymore due to the pandemic. 
  • There are 23 branches of Shwapno in Dhaka and two branches in Chittagong, which are currently associated with Pathao. 
  • Pathao users can access Shwapno by clicking the food tile on the Pathao App, followed by opening the section which is labeled as Tong.

We are doing a special series on the impact of coronavirus pandemic on tech and startup, go here for the coverage. 

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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