Little India shopkeepers of Singapore go online

The most popular products displayed in Little India’s stores of Singapore are now available at the click of a button thanks to the opening of online portal Dei which stands for ‘Daily Everything Indian’. The online space has been opened for the shoppers who want to avoid crowded pavements and traffic jams associated with this area.

People can shop online for their Indian groceries, clothes, garlands and spiritual items which are unique to the Little India area of Singapore. They can also shop for Indian utensils and fruits by simply logging on to the website, dei.com.sg.

Little India area of Singapore is very popular for selling Indian products.
Little India area of Singapore is very popular for selling Indian products. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

To launch the online space, about 50 vendors, who constitute about a quarter of the shops in the area, came forward.

When asked the reason for opening the website, G Jayyarman, founder of Dei, said, “I, along with a team, started the website to ease the pain felt by shoppers of being squashed by massive crowds, facing unpredictable weather, carrying huge bags and standing in long queues just to get back home.”

He added, “What was worse was that we saw the elderly like our parents going through such inconvenience just to get their shopping done.”

Majority of customers on the online shopping portal are local and non-resident Indians between the ages of 25 and 54.
Majority of customers on the online shopping portal are local and non-resident Indians between the ages of 25 and 54. Photo courtesy: LISHA

He further informed, “While young people are adept at navigating the online space, shopping for Indian products is another matter. The online marketplace bridges the gap between being tech-savvy and knowing Indian products. More than 10,000 products are listed on the website.”

Currently, a majority of customers are local and non-resident Indians between the ages of 25 and 54.

For launching the website, Dei partnered with the Little India Shopkeepers Heritage Association (LISHA) in 2016 and the association bore fruit.

C Rajkumar, chairman of LISHA, said the online shopping has cut down the number of shoppers at Little India on weekdays.

He said, “Weekdays see a higher number of tourists having the ability to move around more freely without constraint caused by shoppers. On weekends, locals still make trips down to Little India, but more for dining or to places of worship.”

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

Comments