BigBasket to invest Rs500 crore to ramp up farmer sourcing, technology

Source: LiveMint.com, Jan 22, 2018

Mumbai: Online grocery store BigBasket expects to spend up to Rs500 crore to strengthen its technology and back-end farmer supply chain as it looks to more than double its customer base to 20 million by 2020, a top company executive said.

“We are focusing significantly on strengthening our back-end farmer supply chain programme called Farmer Connect. Presently we are working with 1,800 farmers, and we will bring about 5,000 farmers into our fold in a year’s time,” Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO of BigBasket, said here.

“We ensure they get better prices, paid on time. About 85% of our produce comes directly from farmers and we are going to strengthen that. We work closely with hotels, and restaurants as well as nearly 2,000 kirana stores. We want to deepen our engagement with farmers for the supply,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flipkart, Ola, Paytm, other e-retailers raise over $7 bn in 2017

Source: Financial Express, Jan 22, 2018

New Delhi: A fairly hefty $7 billion flowed into e-commerce ventures in 2017, data put together by research firm Jefferies shows, suggesting Indian e-retailers are living up to their promise. After a somewhat dull 2016, when the e-commerce space attracted just $3 billion in investments, 2017 saw (PE) players and venture capitalists firms top up their exposure to e-tailers. The stand-out investor last year was undoubtedly Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Bank Group which committed $4 billion to three companies — Flipkart, Ola and Paytm. The Masayoshi Son-led Softbank has bet close to $6 billion in the last three years, data from Traxn shows. Other big players such as Tencent and Alibaba were also supportive of e-commerce ventures last year. Meanwhile, Amazon, which has committed $5 billion to its India venture, continues to infuse capital arm from time to time. While e-tailing continued to account for the largest share of the investments in value terms, travel, fintech and gaming businesses also managed to raise a fair bit as part of larger rounds of fund raising of $50 million or more. Read the rest of this entry »

E-commerce cos Amazon, Flipkart & Snapdeal seek more time to adopt MRP norms

Source: ETRetail.com, Jan 18, 2018

Online retail players such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal have asked the government for more time to adhere to the new rules that mandate them to display maximum retail price and expiry details of packaged products sold on their platforms.

These platforms are still to fully comply with the January 1 deadline, and have informed government officials that they will need more time given huge inventories of their sellers.

“We issued letters to ecommerce companies in the first week of January to start complying with the rules. While some have not responded, many have responded stating that huge inventories need to be changed and hence they have requested for more time,” an official of the legal metrology division of the consumer affairs ministry said.

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E-commerce companies asked to display MRP from January 1 or pay fines

Source: ETRetail.com, Dec 27, 2017

Ecommerce entities may face financial penalties and even jail term if they do not comply with new rules that require them to mandatorily display the maximum retail price (MRP) among other details on pre-packaged commodities from January 1 next year.

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (Amendment) Rules, 2017, seeks to regulate pre-packaged commodities, making declarations about MRP, expiry date, manufacturer’s details mandatory in addition to other information about the product. Ecommerce entities have also been brought under the purview of the new rules among rising consumer complaints against them.

“If ecommerce companies do not comply with the new rules, they will be penalised under Section 36 of the Legal Metrology Act,” said a senior official of the department of consumer affairs.

According to the Act, ecommerce firms which do not conform to the declarations mandatory for prepackaged commodities will be fined Rs 25,000 for the first offence,Rs 50,000 for the second, and Rs 1 lakh for the third, which may also be coupled with a jail term of up to one year, the official said.

Among other details, sellers on ecommerce platforms will need to display the original MRP of the product even if they are selling it at a discounted price.

Amazon to heat up Indian smartphone market with 10.or

Source: ETRetail.com, Dec 22, 2017

US-based online retailer Amazon will bring in a range of smartphones to the Indian market under 10.or (pronounced Tenor) to take on homegrown rival, Flipkart.

The smartphones, first of which goes on sale on January 5, will be launched under the company’s ‘Crafted for Amazon’ programme, it said in a statement.

Explaining the programme, Amazon.in said it shares customer insights with OEM partners. These partners then design and manufacture products as per industry leading quality and reliability standards.

Amazon provides go-to-market support for these products, it added. Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon fashion business doubles in a year

Source: Business Standard, Dec 20, 2017

Bengaluru: Amazon claims that its online fashion sales have grown between 80 and 100 per cent over the past one year, as one in three visitors on its platform is now looking to buy apparel and accessories.

According to the US-based retailer, Amazon has grown into the single-largest fashion retailer in the country, a claim which is contested by rival Flipkart that says it along with subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong controls 70 per cent of India’s online fashion market. Read the rest of this entry »

Flipkart completes buyback of ESOPs worth $100 mn

Source: Business Standard, Dec 14, 2017

Bengaluru: India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart on Wednesday said it has completed the $100-million buyback of employee stock options (ESOPs), making it the largest share buyback programme by an unlisted company in the country.

 The programme allowed over 3,000 current and former employees of Flipkart as well as subsidiaries Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe to sell a percentage of their stock options. This is the fourth and largest share buyback Flipkart has done in the past five years.

 “Employees are our biggest source of strength, without whom Flipkart couldn’t have built the e-commerce industry in India. As an organisation, we believe they should be equal partners in Flipkart’s success. This ESOP repurchase programme is an extension of that culture, and a token of thanks for the dedication and hard work they have put in over the years,” said Sachin Bansal, Chairman of Flipkart, and Binny Bansal, Group CEO, in a statement.

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