THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Utilising the Surging Potential of E-commerce: A Case of Hour Glass Supply Chain
Decade of nineties saw two significant developments with far reaching implications; bringing down of iron curtain and the exponential growth of “Internet”. However, the impact of the latter has been phenomenal. It would not be wrong to say that Internet has redesigned the way we live and undertake economic activities. Ever since the launch of Windows 95 and Intel Pentium chip, the Internet has grown at an exponential rate, never witnessed before in any industry. At the turn of the century as many as 387 million people were hooked to Internet [UNCTAD (2003), p. 2]. As this bubble of Internet expanded, it started engulfing every aspect of life and business. The sheer difference of processes on Internet resulted in new terms as e-commerce and e-business to be coined up. In five years since 1995, Internet grew from simple information searching to controlling under sea robots. The biggest market penetration however, has been online retail stores and business to business (B2B) commerce. Online shopping has its potential because of its easy access by the customers and B2B commerce has its attraction in the savings achieved by implementing e-processes. Another advantage of doing business on Internet is the audit trail, with which any dubious transactions, from anywhere in the world could be traced back to its originator.