Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and laws related to eCommerce, under his ‘Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’ initiatives have been well received by the start-up community, that believes the new guidelines have brought some clarity, ease of business and growth to the eCommerce sector. “We are glad that the government recognises and supports an industry that is transforming India and has the potential to play a pivotal role in the overall economy,” said Swati Bhargava, Co-founder, Cashkaro.com.
Twitter Seva and FDI cool, but infrastructure need to improve
“Allowing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in eCommerce platforms or simply starting initiatives like the ‘Twitter Seva,’ which accelerate communication to the numerous queries by entrepreneurs like us, are great ideas, but we need to ensure that political and bureaucratic issues do not over-shadow the smooth functioning of the plans,” she added.
“Coming up with schemes like ‘Twitter Seva’ to help answer queries shows how serious they are to help start-ups and eCommerce. However, it should focus on improving the infrastructure to smoothen up things,” said Virendra Bardia, CEO, Ethnic Dukaan.com.
The cell promises to respond to queries from start-ups, exporters and importers, and other stakeholders within 48 to 72 working hours.
Going forward, the success of these policies will largely depend upon the active governance and timely implementation of the action points. The initiatives taken by the government to propel eCommerce in India have managed to keep the momentum alive.
“There have been some interesting policy decisions made around creating policies supporting marketplace models. The examples are policy for eCommerce and FDI; policy for cab aggregators by various state governments and policies around involvement of private marketplaces by Railways in aspects such as catering and tourism. The start has been encouraging,” said Pushpinder Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, Travelkhana.
Local sourcing encouraged, making Internet accessible imperative
The Digital India campaign, Start up India, Make in India and Skill India Campaign by the government are all contributing to the growth of eCommerce. Digital India Project, in particular, has brought the internet and broadband to the remotest corners of the country, giving further boost to the growing eCommerce market.
“With Make in India creating a buzz and demand around Indian manufacturing and brands, eCommerce companies are encouraged to source local made products and digital India will improve internet accessibility. Technology integration builds efficiencies and it’s a great step forward in the growth of the economy,” said Jatin Paul, Co-Founder Modspace.in.
Skill India and 4G services
The increase in internet penetration has further helped this sustained growth. The eCommerce industry in India has been propelled by the rise in internet penetration due to major improvements in the telecom infrastructure. With 3G and 4G services making way into India along with declining data tariffs, spend on internet data is growing significantly,” said Major Prashant Rai, CEO and Founder, Onetimejobs.com
In India, we’re still at the early stage of the cycle where eCommerce is mainly associated with the Unicorns that have millions in turnover and employ thousands of people.
“Initiatives like Digital India and Skill India will be transformational in helping SMEs to sell online and create more disruptive, value-led startups that solve local problems and cater to specific niches,” said Ritika Dhamija, Co-founder, Iqrup + Ritz.
Start-up Exemptions Policy, a welcome move
“After the declaration of the Start-up India campaign, we decided to register our company because of the various benefits, such as tax exemptions for three years and no regulatory inspection for 3 years. We think these benefits allow us to really focus on building something great rather than the red tape issues,” said Anmol Ahalawat, Co-founder, Instago.
As many as 200 people came up with registration of their start-ups within just one month of the launch of the start-up portal.
“Right from the new Start-up Exemptions Policy to allowing 100 per cent FDI in the eCommerce marketplace model, the government has not only made the lives easier for entrepreneurs but has also made the whole space more exciting. Large Indian conglomerates and business houses like the Tatas and the Mahindras are taking the plunge to compete with eCommerce businesses like Flipkart that didn’t exist and started out of a small office in Bengaluru less than a decade ago,” said Sovin Hegde, Co-founder, Zuver.
“The technology-centric framework by the government will provide cloud based platforms for SMEs. Beside this, the govt. must consolidate the all related ministries into single window for eCommerce companies. Currently there nine ministries are involved,” said Jayant Mehrotra, Co-founder at My Trade Box.
Expanding reach, connecting India through technology
E-commerce is witnessing huge surge in demand from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, bulk of on-line transaction already arise from these cities.
“Govt. is also revamping India Post and is aiming to provide last-mile connectivity across its over 1.5 lakh branches, of which more than 139,000 are in rural India. This will significantly improve distribution channel for eCommerce related services as delivery and COD option will be available in more remote and rural areas, thus expanding the reach and potential market for e-commerce players. Sellers of Regional delicacies and foods from small towns of India can use eComm platform to distribute their products pan-India, thereby boosting the rural economy,” Sneha Chopra, CEO and Co-founder, exoticflavorsofindia.com.
The Government’s Digital India initiative will expand the reach of the eCommerce market to the remotest corners of the country as internet and broadband connectivity reaches to India’s tier 4 towns.
“The decision to setup sector specific incubators for start-ups, various tax exemptions, slashing patent fee up to 80 per cent are motivators for young minds of the nation to pursue their dream and ideas and make them big,” said Amit Singh, Founder & CEO, AllSuperMart.com.
“The steps taken by the government to allow 100 per cent foreign equity in retail are laudable. We hope, and expect to see significant investments in the sector, and subsequently better infrastructure leading to exponential growth. As a fast growing ecommerce enabler, Unbxd is excited to be a part of Indian ecommerce's multi-billion dollar success story,” said Pavan Vilas Sondur, CEO and Founder, Unbxd.