Top Global eCommerce Firms Plan To Open Shop In India Within The Next Eight Months
With the domestic eCommerce scenario already hotting up with the friction and competition generated by so many domestic players aready, the chances that the competition may get hotter are already high, as many global entities such as Alibaba, Rakuten, and WalMart are seriously planning to enter the Indian market.
One of India’s largest eCommerce players Flipkart.com is already changing formats and strategy over last year since Amazon’s entry. Additionally, Alibaba.com, which is China’s largest eCommerce company and Japan’s online market place, Rakuten, are also slated to enter India in the next six to eight months. Currently, the eCommerce space in India is expected to be around $ 12 billion, which includes online travel portals.
Founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten also runs a travel portal along with its other e-tailing services. It is understood to have already leased out office-space in Bangalore, which is currently the eCommerce hub of India. While Rakuten is entering India for the first time, for Alibaba, it is a second coming. Rakuten also runs portals such as Rakuten Global Market, Rakuten Coupons, and Ticket Star, among others.
However Alibaba is re-entering the Indian market with a changed strategy and format. As readers might know, Alibaba, who had successfully ousted global giant Amazon from China, was operating a B2B channel in India. It is said to be planning the launch of a B2C consumer platform soon.
At the same time, Walmart, which is the world’s largest big-box retailer, has recently announced plans to open 50 more wholesale outlets in India and start operations for small businesses. However, the eCommerce service will be available to its trader-members instead of general consumers. According to some experts, the company might take a look at launching a B2C service, in case foreign investment is permitted in the sector.
According to Arvind Singhal, who heads retail consultancy Technopak Advisory as Chairman, the entry of global players will provide an additional fillip to the sector by bringing in further investiments, apart from making the market competitive. The eCommerce sector itself is expected to create more than 80,000-100,000 jobs this year. According to Ashish Jhalani, founder of consulting firm e-Tailing India, the entry of international companies will witness a race among companies to acquire more sellers, whose focus would be on expanding their exclusive seller base.