How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce

The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 188 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.2 billion as of 2020.
How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce

E-commerce has transformed the way business is done in India. The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 188 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.2 billion as of 2020. By 2030, it is expected to reach US$ 350 billion. In 2022, the Indian e-commerce market is predicted to increase by 21.5 percent, reaching US$ 74.8 billion.

Much of the growth for the industry has been triggered by an increase in internet and smartphone penetration.

And to encash this burgeoning opportunity, SARAL, India’s largest e-commerce summit hosted with much fanfare by the country’s leading post-purchase experience management SaaS major Unicommerce. A day-long summit celebrated the role of technology in catalyzing the growth of India’s e-commerce industry. Held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi on September 9, 2022, the mega event witnessed a footfall of 2,000+ attendees including delegates from various retail brands, e-commerce companies, D2C brands, and aspiring online businesses. 

The summit had a series of panel discussions and chats with some of the biggest e-commerce enablers and online brands of India. While the sessions focused on inculcating best industry practices for building a robust online business using the power of technology and targeting the right set of consumers, they also addressed the key issues faced by established companies and brands as they go up the growth ladder.

The event was graced by Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, as the chief guest, who addressed the audience about the vast opportunity that the e-commerce industry holds and its potential of providing a truly global platform for every seller of the country. Speaking to the audience during his keynote session, he mentioned, “ONDC is designed to unbundle the whole process that makes an e-commerce transaction possible. The seller, the buyer, the payment system, and the logistics service, make each component a separate service and enable these independent services to interact with each other on a standardized protocol. With collaborative efforts, we want to take the network to Tier II, and Tier III towns and villages and empower local vendors and entrepreneurs by providing them with a global platform and building capacities that can help these vendors fulfill the demand of not just the local market but eventually emerge as national players.”

Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce, and Kunal Bahl, Co-founder Ace Vector welcome the chief Guest Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary DPIIT at the event
Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce, and Kunal Bahl, Co-founder Ace Vector welcome the chief Guest Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary DPIIT at the event.

Shireesh Joshi, who is the Chief Business Officer at ONDC (Open Network Digital Commerce), was also present at the event. He had an insightful discussion about the revolution of the e-commerce industry during the fireside chat with Kapil Makhija, CEO of Unicommerce. During the discussion, Joshi said, “We have built ONDC as a flexible capability that allows a combination of many elements of a jigsaw to come together and interact with each other. With ONDC, e-commerce will change from a fixed predefined solution to a flexible system where buyers and sellers can connect based on their requirements. Just the way payments are made using UPI where two parties are transacting with each other on a unified network but through different banking channels, ONDC will empower e-commerce brands and sellers by providing them access to a much wider audience 

How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce
Shireesh Joshi, Chief Business Officer, ONDC sharing his thoughts on how ONDC will be a game changer for India’s e-commerce industry 

Unicommerce has been organizing SARAL for the past three years and after 2 virtual editions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first attempt for an in-physical event that received an overwhelming response. Kapil Makhija, CEO of Unicommerce has been the vision behind the event and has led SARAL for three consecutive years since 2020.

During his address, Makhija talked about how e-commerce has become a way of life and an intrinsic part of retail over the last 2 years and expressed gratitude to all the attendees and 50+ industry leaders who shared their insights during the panel discussion. 

Speaking on the success of the event, he said, “SARAL helps showcase how both leading and budding e-commerce businesses in India are leveraging technology to level up their businesses significantly. It is a unique platform that is designed to provide immense learning opportunities by sharing current adoption and future trends. Hosting SARAL 2022 as a physical event has been energizing after organizing the same as a virtual event over the last two years.”

How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce
Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce addressing the audience in his keynote address

Considering the huge footfall at the event, the company ensured all the required COVID guidelines to ensure the safety of all the visitors, exhibitors, and delegates. Everyone attending the event was offered a mask at the registration desk which was in collaboration with our partner brand Masq by Q-One - a Gurugram-based manufacturer of washable cloth masks.

Extracting Insights

The panel discussions about the growth of e-commerce and its future in the post-pandemic era saw the participation of business leaders of Reequil, Ek Anek, Svish, Upriver, and Shipyaari, where brands shared their strategy to sustain the growth and enablers elucidated on the crucial technology solution that formed the basis of the changed trajectory of the e-commerce and the retail industry.

How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce
Baqar Naqvi, Founder & CEO Upriver, Nayan Ratandhayara, CEO Shipyaari, Sankalp Bhattacharya, Partner PwC, Vipul Gupta, Director Reequil, Kartik Seth, Founder & CEO Ek Anek and Ishaan Grover, Founder & CEO Svish during a panel discussion on Post Pandemic: Is it a new era or was it a short term growth trend in e-commerce?

A sequence of fireside chats with brands like Shipyaari, Shipway, and Payoneer threw light on some of the most important aspects that assist e-commerce and retail brands in their growth journeys. Discussing Dr. Vaidya’s growth story, Shipyaari, an API-based logistics management solutions provider deliberated on the benefits of automation in logistics and shared some exemplary growth numbers, while Shipway, an advanced shipment, and package tracking service talked about the opportunity ahead of e-commerce platforms which can help realize their true potential by breaking through the various shipping barriers. In a chat with Payoneer, a payment platform for cross-border digital business, the brand shared insights about developing a smooth process for making a company’s global expansion.

Baqar Naqvi, Founder & CEO Upriver, Nayan Ratandhayara, CEO Shipyaari, Sankalp Bhattacharya, Partner PwC, Vipul Gupta, Director Reequil, Kartik Seth, Founder & CEO Ek Anek and Ishaan Grover, Founder & CEO Svish during a panel discussion on Post Pandemic: Is it a new era or was it a short term growth trend in e-commerce?
Vikas Garg, Co-Founder Shipway and Pakhi Wazir Advisors during a fireside chat on Breaking shipping barriers with All in One shipping app;
How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce
Vishal Totla, COO Shipyaari, and Arjun Vaidya, Founder Dr. Vaidya’s during a fireside chat on Dr. Vaidya’s growth story with Shipyaari

With the growing need for reliable D2C brands and to address the pain points of budding or aspiring business enthusiasts, the last panel discussion was about building a profitable D2C business, and session participation from business leaders from ANS Commerce, The Man Company, Onesto Labs and Snapmint. The speakers elaborated on building a scalable D2C company required share eye focus on ensuring repeat customers with great post-purchase experience and bringing operational efficiency to reduce operation costs.
 

How Technology is Shaping the Future of E-commerce
(L-R) Ayush Gupta, Director - Digital Strategy & Transformation KPMG, Abhineet Sawa, Founder Snapmint, Bhisham Bhateja, Co-Founder & Director The Man Company, Rohit Chawla, Founder & CEO Innovist, Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder Shipway and Amit Monga, Co-Founder ANS Commerce during the panel discussion on Building a profitable and scalable D2C brand

The summit ended with the felicitation of leading brands that had shown an exceptional growth trajectory over the last year. Leading companies like IGP, Portronics, Svish, and Mcaffine also participated in the felicitation and awarded the winners with a hamper. Some of the companies that were recognized across different categories are The Man Company, Portronics, Auro Fruit and Nuts, Kapiva, Libas, Paragon, Miarcus, and Faballey. 

The event witnessed participation from some of the leading e-commerce enablers of the country.  The event was co-sponsored by Shipyaari and powered by Shipway. The platinum sponsors included Upriver and Payoneer and the gold sponsors for the event were Nimbus Post, ANS Commerce, and Snapmint. The media partner for the event was IndianRetailer.com.

Unicommerce has been at the forefront of enabling brands with supply chain technology to ensure a seamless shopping experience for consumers. Its strong presence in India’s e-commerce and retail ecosystem is a testimony of the great products and impact it brings to businesses. The company processes over 450 million orders amounting to more than $5 billion annual GMV and has a strong nationwide presence with 7,000+ warehouses and 2,000+ stores using the Unicommerce platform to serve customers in India and internationally. 

Unicommerce works with some of the leading brands of India such as Marico, Jack & Jones, W, Aurelia, Emami, boAt, Mensa Brands, Evenflow, GOAT labs, Pharmeasy, Chumbak, mCaffeine, Lenskart, and many more. 
 

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