Oware - solving the space conundrum.

Over time, technological transformations have revolutionised the 'last mile' delivery space to the end consumers in Pakistan due to strong growth in e-commerce. Yet the B2B (business-to-business) movement of goods is still happening through an unintelligent, manual and antiquated process. Small and medium-sized businesses are especially hampered by the unavailability of warehousing space and long-term contracts needed to access the logistics facilities. Lack of warehouse flexibility and insights lead them to overspend on inventory.

That's not all. An opaque and slow supply chain system means that the time to set up operations is too long, with limited visibility or tracking of the stocks and orders. Large companies have the wherewithal to either set up their warehouses and purchase a fleet of trucks or rent both on a longer-term basis on the strength of their financial muscle and big volumes. But the smaller businesses can't and are often not entertained by large freight and warehousing firms because of low volumes.

This problem of warehousing and transportation for smaller businesses is now being taken care of by a young supply chain start-up - Oware. The tech-driven company was set up in January 2021 and has since been assisting businesses, particularly small and medium manufacturers, to fix their warehousing and logistics problems at the backend. Or what they call the 'first mile' in the supply chain infrastructure to boost their sales through flexible, on-demand warehousing and distribution solutions.

Valued by international investors at $15 million in May last year, when it raised $3.3m in a pre-seed funding round backed by the US investor Flexport Fund, the company is already being billed to be a game changer for B2B warehousing and distribution requirements of the businesses in Pakistan.

The young supply chain start-up offers shared warehousing and distribution facilities across the country at flexible terms

'As elsewhere in the underdeveloped countries, the smaller businesses in Pakistan are also being held back by an antiquated warehousing and logistics system. These companies must lease or buy a property and hire staff to manage their warehouse to store their inventories to grow and expand,' Adil Nisar Vohra, the co-founder of Oware, told this correspondent in an interview.

'Building and renting warehousing is capital intensive and requires long-term contracts that a small or medium business with low volumes can hardly afford...

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