India’s online retail market is a US$ 50 bn opportunity waiting to be realised

Source: Business Standard, Aug 10, 2018

New Delhi: As India’s Internet penetration booms (390 million Internet users) thanks to rock bottom data prices ($0.17 per GB in 2017), the country’s online retail market is witnessing a massive surge.

According to a joint report by Bain and Company, Google and Omidyar Network, the country’s online retail market is a $50 billion opportunity waiting to be realised.

In 2017, online retail in India clocked $20 billion in sales. While this paled in comparison to the US ($459 billion) and China ($935 billion), India exhibited highest growth in online spending among major economies.Indian online shoppers spent an average of $224 in 2017, which was less than a tenth of what the average user spent online in the US at $2,237 in the same year.

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Draft ecommerce policy champions India first

download.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Jul 31, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government’s draft ecommerce policy makes a strong case for championing ‘Indian’ online enterprise and may have major implications for foreign-owned ecommerce majors operating in India.

Key recommendations include barring group companies of ecommerce players from “directly or indirectly influencing” sale prices. This may mean restrictions on retail strategies of ecommerce majors with subsidiaries.

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How small ecommerce firms are trying to access local towns and cities

Source:, Jul 20, 2018

A new breed of social ecommerce and recommerce companies are looking to digitally recreate the experience of bargaining with vendors in the lanes of Bengaluru’s Commercial Street or the streets of Delhi’s Sarojini Market—in local languages.

About 75% of Indian internet users are expected to be regional language speakers by 2021, as per industry estimates. To reach this demographic, companies including Helion Ventures-backed Wooplr and Beenext-backed Elanic are working on launching platforms in vernacular languages including Hindi, Telugu and Tamil so sellers and buyers can engage better. Read the rest of this entry »

E-commerce players brace for big battle over online pharma

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 20, 2018

BENGALURU: Online pharma retail is becoming the next battleground for ecommerce players seeking to build a high-frequency play in India.

Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket and Swiggy are all in exploratory talks to acquire, partner or invest in online pharma players including MedPlus, 1mg, Medlife, PharmEasy and Myra, according to entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives ET spoke with. For the ecommerce leaders, the online medicine-delivery category represents a significant strategic opportunity given easing regulations and its potential to drive repeat orders — a feature that has endeared grocery to Flipkart and Amazon.

Amazon has held talks with 3-4 online pharma players, including Medlife and MedPlus, according to people familiar with the developments. Medlife, run by the founding family of pharmaceutical company Alkem Labs, has held discussions with Flipkart as well, sources said. Read the rest of this entry »

E-commerce major Amazon pumps in Rs 230 cr in Amazon Pay

Source: Financial Express, Jul 16, 2018

New Delhi: E-commerce major Amazon has pumped in Rs 230 crore in its Indian payments arm, Amazon Pay, as it looks to strengthen its operations in the country and compete head-on with the likes of Flipkart’s PhonePe and Alibaba-backed Paytm. According to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Amazon Pay (India) has allotted 23 crore equity shares worth Rs 230 crore to existing shareholders — Amazon Corporate Holdings and — on right basis.

The resolution was approved on June 28, 2018, it added. When contacted, an Amazon spokesperson said the company’s focus is to make digital payments “the most trusted, convenient and rewarding choice for customers”. “We continue to explore ways to do this, in partnership with banks, processors, fintech companies and ecosystem partners. We have earlier invested in creating new transformational services like cash loading into the wallet at doorstep,” the spokesperson said. Read the rest of this entry »

Flipkart set for financial services foray

download (6).jpgSource: Business Standard, Jul 03, 2018

Bengaluru: In a move that could disrupt the consumer lending segment, e-commerce giant Flipkart is set to enter the financial services space, offering credit and insurance products to consumers and sellers on its platform.

The Bengaluru-headquartered firm has begun the process of applying for a non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence, which will allow it to open lines of credit to its 100 million-odd customers and over 100,000 sellers. In time, the company will offer these services beyond its platform, taking on firms like Paytm and Bajaj Finserv.It is also partnering insurance companies to co-create micro-insurance products that will align with a customer’s e-commerce journey, according to the company. “Our vision for fintech at Flipkart is to create highly differentiated financial solutions for our customers, both consumers and sellers, leveraging data and technology to make it very inclusive, simple and transparent,” said Ravi Garikipati, senior vice-president and head of financial services at Flipkart. “A strong understanding of customers helps us arrive at credit-risk profiles very differently and will play a big role in underwriting.”

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Zomato to serve 25 more cities in India with business expansion

Source: Business Standard, Jun 27, 2018

New Delhi: Food ordering app Zomato on Wednesday said it has launched its restaurant reviews and ratings platform across 25 new cities in India, taking the number to 63 cities.

Newly launched cities are Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayawada, Raipur, Madurai, Jodhpur, Thrissur, Ajmer, Manali, Alappuzha, Gorakhpur, Ooty, Kota, Manipal, Dharamshala, Jammu, Haridwar, Jalandhar, Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Udupi, Cuttack, Shimla, Palghat, Pushkar and Srinagar.

“India continues to be our highest priority market and we will continue to expand and build further depth within the country. We are doing everything to take Zomato to more cities – to enable the growth of the restaurant industry and help our audience make better food choices,” said Oytun Calapover, Global Head – Listings Business, Zomato.

Zomato launched its online ordering and food delivery services in May 2015. Globally, Zomato is present in 24 countries and serves more than 50 million users every month.