Cyaniq Global LLC is one of Colombo’s leading marketing, communication, and content creation firms, servicing 10 of the top 20 corporates listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
2020 has seen Cyaniq Global experiment with retail, starting with grocery delivery service “Kada Malu” which made waves when it was established practically overnight during the lockdown in March.
Cyaniq Global’s venture, the Cyaniq Global Mall is an online platform for brands and customers looking to meet, no matter where they are in the world. The Morning Brunch spoke to Cyaniq Global Mall Head of Operations Darrel De Zilva to learn more.
What is Cyaniq Global Mall? Give us the elevator pitch.
Cyaniq Global Mall is a conduit for global brands to meet local customers in an affordable and convenient way while also acting as a platform for local brands to meet a global customer base as we grow and scale to establish two-way channels.
At present, we are focused on retailing globally recognised fashion accessories, books, collectibles, apparel, and beauty care products which we source from the open market to targeted local market segments.
What made you start a mall through Cyaniq Global? When did this happen?
During the initial lockdown, earlier this year, Cyaniq Global LLC ventured into a number of retail operations. We started with “Kada Malu”, an essential food supply delivery brand to help communities outside of the immediate Colombo city limits, which was a need of the hour at the time. The success of that operation led to us exploring the retail space with more strategic interest and the intention of creating a sustainable business model.
Over the next few months, we had great success in retailing vegetables and fruits through Green Bean Express, meat items and seafood through the Meatery, essentials through Knock Knock, and medical supplies through Med Wheels.
In a lot of ways, Global Mall is a consolidation of our retail interests, where the roadmap is geared to include and build on the business lines we explored over the past year. It’s been an absolutely unprecedented year and we don’t know where things will lead in the coming year, but we want to be strategically focused on creating sustainable business models, now that the need of the hour has been met and a number of operators have moved in to fill the supply vacuum we were initially looking to fill.
Why a virtual mall? What’s the story behind it?
It’s a very simple thought process here. We understand that e-commerce is going to continue to keep pace in terms of the growth the industry has shown this year. With the pandemic still impacting the lifestyles of consumers the world over, we feel it’s a great emerging space to be in.
It probably doesn’t do it justice to say that the space is emerging, considering that we have a number of large e-retailing operations which have been around for many years. But, at Cyaniq, our belief is that the industry will have plenty of market share available for operators with an innovative business model and channel management strategy.
Cyaniq Global LLC previously responded to the needs of the public by launching ‘Kada Malu’; is the mall another response to the mid-to-post-pandemic customer?
It’s quite the opposite really. I think a lot of young entrepreneurs and many of the large businesses have come to the rescue of the pandemic customer. When we initially set up our retail operations, we were focused on filling the supply vacuum. We are now purely focused on the idea of creating sustainable business models which will look at innovating the way retailing is done in the new normal.
Maybe, if we are successful, we will help create a market environment where competitors will adopt some of our innovations. But, that’s a long time away.
What are you hoping for the Cyaniq Global Mall to achieve in the long term?
As an organisation, Cyaniq wants to create sustainable business models which can create value for multiple stakeholder groups while maintaining scalability. We are hopeful that we will create some innovations along the way to achieving this goal and those innovations will be interesting to reflect on, sometime down the line.
For Global Mall specifically, there is a promising upside if the e-retail growth of this year is any valid consideration. As we go along, we will try to differentiate and position ourselves with a heavier emphasis on social media marketing as opposed to traditional e-commerce retailing.
Is there anything else that Cyaniq Global is working on that we can expect to see in the near future?
We are very much an SME (small and medium enterprise), although we service and collaborate with some of the largest corporate brands in the country. So, for us as an organisation, this year was about surviving the challenges thrown our way and continuing to deliver value to our stakeholders.
We are hoping to work on newer projects next year if the economic climate supports it and hopefully we will all be able to find the right opportunities for growth in the coming year.