- Wisaaq, the newly-launched platform, will provide FMCG's distributors access to capital
The CEO of Haball, the B2B Islamic fintech that announced on Wednesday the launch of its digital lending platform, Wisaaq, is confident that its partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan will help the FMCG giant increase its sales by 30-40%.
Haball and Coca-Cola Beverages are teaming up through which 550 distributors of the beverage company will be able to finance their inventory while leveraging the fintech’s platform Wisaaq.
This partnership will also feature Meezan Bank, which will finance the transactions between the distributors and Coca-Cola Pakistan.
This was stated at an event titled ‘Cashless Supply Chain’ held on Wednesday in Karachi, where different speakers stressed the need for documentation that would unlock access to capital.
“The credit line will only be available to finance the inventory and nothing else,” CEO Omer Bin Ahsan told Business Recorder on the sidelines of the event. “Around 22 entities are currently using Haball for payments, but Coca-Cola will be the first one to use the financial services for its distributors.”
Speaking on the occasion, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Deputy Governor Dr Inayat Hussain said Wisaaq has the potential to cover the payment cycle of the entire supply-chain.
“It also provides substantial cross-selling opportunities to the banks as well,” said Hussain, referring to the data banks could gather on these transactions.
The CFO of Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola İçecek, Erdi Kursunoglu said Pakistan is second biggest market behind Turkey for Coca-Cola İçecek and 10th biggest for Coca-Cola Global.
Kursunoglu said his company sees huge potential in Pakistan, and the arrangement with Wisaaq would create a win-win situation.
"This is not just digital transformation, but business transformation as well," said Kursunoglu during his presentation. “However, the biggest winner of the cashless supply chain arrangements would be the national exchequer."
Kursunoglu also expressed hope of increase in sales, but did not share precise figures.
“Emerging and developing countries are highly innovative because they come up with new ideas amid scarcity of resources,” he said. “It (the arrangement under Wisaaq) is the first such for Coca-Cola in the region.”
Meezan Bank President and CEO Irfan Siddiqui said many distributors refrain from using conventional banking for financing because it does not conform to their beliefs.
“Surveys conducted by the SBP clearly reveal that the market trend is towards Islamic banking,” he said.
Meezan Bank SEVP and General Manager-Commercial Banking Syed Tanveer Hussain said SMEs in Pakistan mainly deal in cash as they are undocumented.
During a comprehensive presentation at the event, he stressed that SMEs trust private lenders and are willing to borrow money at even 30-40% interest rate due to lack of access to capital.
“Those that don't even have this option are forced to compromise on growth,” he said. “Wisaaq can help them address their capital needs.”
Speaking to Business Recorder, Kursunoglu stressed that undocumented SMEs were hampering their own growth.
“There will come a time when SMEs will be left with no choice but to get registered in order to scale their operations,” he said.