Do the Indian eCommerce Industry Needs To Learn From Jack Ma & Alibaba?



I wrote this article the other day which I deeply felt to write after having my own startup into ecommerce and failed, then worked on ecommerce startup from China. There is lot of difference in their approach and strategies and I feel there are lot of things which Indian eCommerce Industry Needs To Learn From Jack Ma & Alibaba.

So check this article and let me know your thoughts. s-to-learn-from-jack-ma-alibaba/


This might give you different perspective about eCommerce in India.


India as a market is very different from China or rest of the world. We can learn a lot from business models from around the world however to succeed in India you have to actually get down and dirty to know the facts. I am Anand Padia “Andy”, I wanted to review the e-commerce market and figure out the gap to create a product which would cover all of it while being Indian. I am sharing my experience here.

Identifying e-commerce in India: This was a very difficult task as this area has been crowded since Flipkart launched and became a household name. We saw a lot of startups and technology companies trying to capture the market. So when we started working on analysing the industry, we immediately thought that we are too late. We thought that its already crowded and we become a new syllable to the noise that is around. However the innovator within me decided that every application and every platform in India is not perfect while it is performing good for India. We listed out few of our competitions in an around India. We started comparing them on various values they bring in however the biggest differentiator with all the services, platform and companies was the price. So we decided that lets map this as our primary differentiator. Yes, India as we all know values any kind of application because of price, investment, spend and so on. Everything in India is about numbers, It is not about the feature, its not about the convenience, its not about the new thing… its all about numbers.

Our conclusion for e-commerce industry in India worked out to be a match between numbers and support their after.

Support for e-commerce: Me and my wife started sorting through various services and categorising their support. Most of the services offered DIY because that is what world offers, DIY website builder, DIY funnel creator, DIY Banner change and DIY SEO booster. However India does not do DIY, India has population of 132.42 crores. We have someone to do all the job at very reasonable price, so DIY only made sense to certain group of people. DIY does not make sense, In fact India’s e-commerce users when considering a platform would weight DIY capability however than hire a developer to manage it for them. It was strange for us to notice it, So when it comes to e-commerce platform it has to be a mix of DIY + human. We did not even considering valuing the system for need of Virtual Assistant, VA’s are not a thing in India and will never be.

Limited knowledge and awareness about eCommerce: Indian businesses only consider Amazon, Flipkart and so on as e-commerce. These are marketplaces, thats part of e-commerce and not complete e-commerce. Knowledge about branding and utilising the power of e-commerce to create a market has been unknown to India. In fact the only need people look to different e-commerce market is just to get sales. Again the numbers game. BTW people who understand branding would not be in position to think about compliance and other bits needed for a successful e-commerce. Basics of pricing with e-commerce was also unknown, no guidance on setting the price to be right for the market is not a feature that any of existing platform gives. No hand holding, no followups simply join and start selling by understanding their price structure and adding it to product cost to ensure profit margins do not change.

Keeping up with Trends and Stock Management: Trend watch is not something that our local business do, they get all the market watch information from their suppliers. Its a industry which is controlled by manufacturers. No wonder India does not have that many startups innovating products from Tier2 and Tier3. Changing the status quo is not on India’s business leaders.

Inventory and Dead Stock: We noticed that most of the businesses liked to deal with products that were pushed by their territories suppliers. In fact a person starting business in retail does not have much options available to them so they tend to go with what that get. Also biggest scare for all the retailers is Dead Stock, so this makes it difficult to convince businesses to cover new products. They want only battle tested products at margins that would allow them to make profits. It does not happen that easy so we decided to change it. Make is easy to start etailing in India and that too without any investment.

Based of all these studies we started creating an application as a test. We failed on the first go, We had to rewamp our business model 23 times to make it acceptable to Indian Market.

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