Today, we’re looking at the Indian cashback and e-commerce market where the market continues to boom. First, a look at the top 30 brands in India ranked by InterBrand. In India, digital wallets growing in popularity and offering many more goods and services than just paying bills according to Paytm. The Indian government has eased restrictions to allow single brand retailers to engage in e-commerce. E-commerce in India will reach more than $100 billion by 2020 according to DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant.
The top e-commerce companies Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm and Snapdeal continue to bleed losses in a Game of Thrones analogy by Track India. Paytm founder Vijay Sharma says mobile is the future in India just like China. By year-end, Snapdeal expects to be the biggest e-commerce company in India according to CEO Kunal Bahl.
Is the tech bubble ready to burst as restaurant app Zomato, food delivery app TinyOwl and property portal Housing.com plan large staff layoffs? Flipkart plans to stop selling e-books the week though it will stay in the print book marketplace, valued at $3.9 billion by Nielsen. Flipkart reported a loss of about Rs 2,000 crore ($299.5 million) in the year ended March, up from a loss of Rs.715 crore ($107.1 million) in the previous year. Bridal venue and services portal Weddingz raised $1 million in venture capital to continue expansion into 20 Indian cities. Twitter revenue in India and net revenue grew three times highlighting the future importance of the Indian mobile market.
The Top 30 Indian Brands of 2015!
Tata continues to reign as India’s #1 brand in InterBrand’s recent “Top 30 Brands of 2015” list. Last year as well, Tata was ranked #1. Reliance and Airtel are rankled #2 and #3 positions, which has remained unchanged from 2014. Meanwhile SBI slipped from #4 to #5 this year, while Mahindra slipped from #9 to reach #10 position. Idea too lost much of it’s brand value as its ranked #24 this year, down 2 spots from last year.
InterBrand, which is part of Omnicom Group started ranking India brands in 2013, and this year it was their 3rd such branding list. The latest ranking was released at a function in Mumbai, where Ashish Mishra, Managing Director of Interbrand India said, “Interbrand India’s larger purpose in the market is to identify the Best Indian Brands and help them in their journey towards becoming Best Global Brands,” Via trak.in
Mobile app payments: Paytm to MobiKwik, the digital wallet is expanding
‘Use X digital wallet and get 10 per cent cashback,’ is a sentence we have become familiar with in our smartphone-dependent lives. In India, the options are limitless when it comes to choosing a digital wallet — there is Paytm, the biggest player in the market claiming 100 million users, followed by rivals MobiKwik and FreeCharge and newcomers like PayUMoney and Oxigen.
But the digital wallet is morphing beyond recharges or pay for everything from online food delivery to cab rides and even booking a new home. KYC (know your customer) is the next buzzword for the big players like Paytm and MobiKwik where they want to verify customer details like address, identity to increase the digital wallet limit to Rs 1 lakh ($1562) per month. Currently, RBI rules limit digital wallets to Rs 10,000 ($148) without a KYC .
“With a full KYC, we can extend this Rs 10,000 limit to Rs 1 lakh. What we have seen is that for digital wallets, the use case is expanding beyond just paying bills. We don’t want any limits on how a digital wallet should be used in the future and getting the KYC done is the first step in this,” says Nitin Misra, VP Products at Paytm. Via indianexpress.com
India Relaxes Its E-Commerce Restrictions For Single Brand Retailers
On 24 November 2015, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued Press Note No 12 (2015) in relation to its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, announcing that a single brand retail trading entity operating through brick and mortar stores, would now be permitted to undertake retail trading through e-commerce. Further, the Government clarified that a wholesale Cash & Carry trader may now also undertake single brand retail trading provided (a) it maintains separate books of accounts for the two arms of the business and has them audited by statutory auditors and (b) each arm of the business complies with the conditions attached to the FDI policy relating to wholesale Cash & Carry businesses and for retail businesses.
Many foreign brands entering India have invested directly by holding shares in an Indian company either in the form of a wholly owned subsidiary or through a joint venture with an Indian company in order to retail products under a single brand. Foreign brands have frequently complained that they were not permitted to sell their goods on-line and were therefore unable to offer a multi-channel experience as they do in other countries. Previously, foreign brand owners had to enter into agreements with Indian e-commerce platforms or companies to sell their goods on-line. There still seems to be a condition attached that the foreign brands that are permitted to sell on-line need to have invested in brick and mortar stores in India. Via mondaq.com
E-commerce market in India may touch $100 billion by 2020: DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant
E-commerce market is likely to grow ten-fold in next five years to reach $100 billion on the back of increasing penetration of Internet, smartphones and spread of digital network in rural areas, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said today.
According to a report titled ‘Direct selling; Mapping the industry across Indian states’, the country’s e-commerce sector, which is around $10 billion (Rs 65,000 crore) at present, can even touch $250 billion in next ten years as digital network would. Via economictimes.indiatimes.com
Ecommerce in India: A Game of Thrones
The e-commerce (including hyperlocal) space in India has been touted as one of the major frontiers to conquer for many companies. All the major empires have been leaving no stone unturned to bleed themselves dry in order to catch hold of a bigger pie of Westeros (the consumers’ wallet). The bloodbath in the name of discounts and offers have been coming from all the players over the last few years, and although the discounts have mellowed down a bit, there doesn’t seem a clear change of strategy in order to capture the throne.
Same as in the GoT series, there are 4 major players in the Indian e-commerce domain, viz. Flipkart, Amazon, PayTm and Snapdeal. Although Flipkart leads the market-share currently (Lannisters?), none of the other players are too much behind. We also have niche players, just like the smaller empires in the series, which occasionally get acquired by a bigger player and in turn, add to the arsenal of the larger empire. The 2 biggest of such M&As have been that of Myntra (by Flipkart) and FreeCharge (by Snapdeal). Did anyone mention about Tyrells’ and Boltons’ closeness (or the lack of it) with Baratheons and Starks? And how can we forget the dragons in this game as well. Via trak.in
Ecommerce investment in India booms
A few years after launching his ecommerce venture Paytm, Vijay Sharma came to a realisation about the future of India’s internet economy. It came during a trip to China in 2012, when he spent timing observing China’s many avid smartphone users. “I learnt that the smartphone, which in the ‘western’ world is assumed to just be a smaller screen, is actually the dominant screen . . . for consumers in this ‘eastern’ world,” he says. “In other words, people don’t care about a small screen. They actually prefer to have a smaller screen.”
Even more so than in China, Indians will come online via smartphones. At present the country has about 350m internet users. Only about a sixth have fixed-line connections, according to analysts Convergence Catalyst in Bangalore. The rest already rely on mobile devices for web access, a trend that is only set to deepen. Most projections suggest India’s online population will race above 500m in the next couple of years, almost all using smartphones. This will leave India trailing only China in the league tables of most populous online nations. Connection speeds will improve dramatically as well, given that today perhaps only 40m Indians have smartphones that make full use of 3G data connections. Via ft.com
Snapdeal aims to surpass Flipkart as India’s largest e-commerce firm by fiscal year-end
Delhi-based e-retailer Snapdeal is confident of becoming the market leader in India’s rapidly growing e-commerce market by the end of this fiscal year through March, co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl told CNBC early Wednesday. According to data by Morgan Stanley, Snapdeal is currently the second-biggest player in India, with a market share of 32 percent. Rival Flipkart, the poster boy of Indian e-commerce, is holding on to the lion share of 44 percent, while U.S. behemoth Amazon accounts for 15 percent of market share.
“[Flipkart] had a [headstart] of $500 million and 10,000-person, but it doesn’t seem like that any longer. We are quickly covering ground there. Also, a lot of the investments we made in infrastructure and other platforms like consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and payments are paying huge dividends,” said Bahl, who was speaking to CNBC at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore. “Our market share is only climbing year-on-year. Three years ago, our market share was zero,” he added. Via cnbc.com
Is the bubble starting to burst for India’s e-commerce companies?
Hundreds of layoffs at several Indian start-ups have sparked fears the bubble is starting to burst for the country’s e-commerce companies, amid claims by analysts that many of them are overvalued. Restaurant search website Zomato, food delivery app TinyOwl and property portal Housing.com are all letting staff go, and experts are warning of echoes of the dot-com boom which crashed spectacularly in 2000.
“The valuation bubble is bursting. The valuations had reached levels where they were ridiculous and could not be justified at any level,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of management consulting firm Technopak. Wealthy investors boosted by low interest rates have been lining up to lavishly back India’s booming start-ups, with the government hailing the sector as proof of the country’s entrepreneurial spirit. Via ibnlive.com
Flipkart stops selling e-books citing lukewarm response; to transition users to Rakuten Kobo from Dec 17
Flipkart Ltd will stop selling electronic books from Friday, three years after the online retailer started selling the product, acknowledging that Indians are yet to warm up to them. Starting 11 December, e-books purchased on Flipkart will be serviced by Canada’s eBook and eReader provider Rakuten Kobo, which offers more than four million e-books. Consumers will not be able to buy e-books on Flipkart starting Friday, though their previous purchases will remain intact.
“The Indian book market is overwhelmingly dominated by physical books and this is a market that is growing at a fast clip. Flipkart will continue to be a leading player in the overall books market in India,” the company said in a statement. “In its overall strategy for books, Flipkart does not see the e-Books service as a strategic fit and hence the decision of transitioning the e-Books service to Kobo.”
Flipkart launched its e-books store in late 2012. A year later, the company also launched an e-book app to facilitate reading on mobile devices. The print book market in India is valued at $3.9 billion, according to an October report by market researcher Nielsen. Via dealstreetasia.com
India: Flipkart losses mount to $303m in FY15
Two main entities controlled by Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce firm, reported a loss of about Rs.2,000 crore in the year ended March, up from a loss of Rs.715 crore in the previous year, the Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing regulatory filings.
Sales at Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd and Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd trebled to Rs.10,390 crore ($1.56 billion) last fiscal year, the report said. Flipkart, which has raised $2.6 billion over the past 18 months, has been spending huge amounts of money on discounts, marketing, boosting technology and building warehouses. The company is involved in a high-stakes market share battle with Snapdeal (run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd) and Amazon India (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd). Via dealstreetasia.com
Weddingz raises over $1m from filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, Mohandas Pai, others
Mumbai-based L-Fast Brands Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Weddingz, an online market for wedding venues and vendors, has raised over $1 million from a group of angel investors, including Google India’s managing director Rajan Anandan and film makers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.
“The money will be utilized in expanding to more cities, automation and technology enhancement,” said Sandeep Lodha, founder and chief executive officer. The company is present in 10 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa. It plans to reach out to the top 20 cities by the end of 2016 and 100 cities by 2017-end. Via dealstreetasia.com
Twitters India revenue, net profit jump threefold in 2014-15
India could become an important market for Twitter given the rapid rise in the number of smartphone users. India is currently the third-largest market for smartphones, behind China and the US, and is expected to surpass the US by 2017.
According to a report by research firm eMarketer, mobile advertising spend in India is expected to reach $1 billion by 2018. In its quarterly statement, Twitter said it had 320 million monthly active users. Mobile users represented 80 per cent of the total. While Twitter does not provide a breakup of its user base by region, an eMarketer report puts the India number at 22.5 million users. Via techcircle.vccircle.com
What’s ahead this week’s Cashback Industry News?
We hope you enjoyed this update on the Indian cashback and e-commerce marketplace. Let us know if you have story ideas or other markets you’d like us to cover in the future. Coming up this week, a look at innovators in the e-commerce marketplace, an update on China e-commerce and more news you can use.