Before introduction of online shopping in Kashmir, courier companies were not doing well and at that time only few courier companies were working in the Valley.
Booming online shopping in Kashmir has given impetus to the courier business creating job avenues for thousands of unemployed youth in the Valley.
As per estimates the courier service is making Rs 20 crore business per annum while it has created job avenues for more than 1000 youth in Kashmir. Currently, 25 courier companies are operating in the Valley.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, President, Kashmir Courier Association, Zahoor Qari said every passing day the courier business is witnessing increase as online shopping has proved to be blessing for the sector.
"Before introduction of online shopping in Kashmir, courier companies were not doing well and at that time only few courier companies were working in the Valley. But after online shopping gained popularity, the business of courier companies has boomed," Qari said.
He said the number of courier companies has increased manifold in Kashmir. “Currently there are 25 companies working here employing more than one thousand youth and more and more people are coming in this sector.”
To mention, the online shopping has become a centre of attraction for Kashmir netizens in Kashmir, with people in offices, public places, homes discussing about the best offers available on various online shopping sites.
Qari states that Kashmir valley each day receives 700 shipments ordered by online shoppers. "On an average 450 orders using Cash on Delivery (COD) option and 250 orders via (prepaid payment mode) are received by courier companies to be distributed across the Kashmir region.
The advent of technology has further helped the sector to grow and expand. The courier companies state that with online shopping gaining publicity in Kashmir through word of mouth, as a result now people in rural areas are also not shying away to do online shopping.
"A year ago, our business was mainly central Kashmir mostly Srinagar centric, but now within a year it has expanded to rural areas of the Valley with people in those places opting for online shopping," said Abid Ahmad, an employee of a courier company.
A Boston Consultancy Group report online shopping by urban consumers will more than double over the next two years in the country to 14 per cent from 6 per cent last year.
According to the BCG digital influence study 2013-14, online shopping is expected to rise to 14 per cent by 2016 from 6 per cent in 2013. It also said already 25 per cent of travel and tourism-related sales are digitally driven in the country currently.
According to market observers, a fair percentage of young Kashmiris is now-a-days purchasing via internet.
Pertinently, there are a number of websites offering long range of products to its customers.