Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) took the battle to Amazon and Flipkart by announcing its plan to launch bharatemarket, its own ecommerce portal, next month.
CAIT has tied up with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to plug millions of mom-and-pop or Kirana shops in the country to digital commerce. The traders association has clarified that the platform will be very different from the private ecommerce entities and will focus on retailers and customers.
Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT secretary-general, said that this will set a trend amongst traders across the world. Among its benefits is that no additional commissions or fees will be levied and whatever the traders earn will be directly transferred to their bank accounts.
Besides this, the association has also highlighted that it will give no preferential treatment to vendors listed on the platform. It will be built on a geo-tagging feature which will allow customers to place orders from the nearest store of their choice. Once the order is placed, it will take up to two hours for the traders to deliver the items. The platform will start with the delivery of essential goods once launched.
In-Country, For The Country
Sameer Vakil, CEO of SME platform GlobalLinkers, highlighted that bharatemarket is an in-country developed solution, where a customer can find everything from shoes to groceries. He noted that that platform will ensure competitive pricing and also allow payments through all methods — net banking, unified payments interface (UPI), credit or debit card and more.
Vakil highlighted that bharatemarket is developed on a “phygital model”, which means the conveniences of digital without losing the human touch. “Love it, click it, get it,” he noted.
So far, the platform has on-boarded 6,300 traders across 90 cities and is looking to get more before the launch of the platform. Interested retailers can write to CAIT at [email protected]. For now, the association is running a pilot in six cities — Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, and Bengaluru.
CAIT has also partnered with the Startup India division of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and several technology companies to help local retailers take online orders. GlobalLikers is also providing core technology whereas All India Trader Welfare Association (AITWA) will be offering logistics support.
The traders association has assured that the platform will be compliant with data localisation policy and all other regulations set up by the Indian government. Besides this, it will also ensure the safety of its customers. Moreover, CAIT has assured that the platform will focus on selling current and genuine products, any traders found doing otherwise will lose its shareholding. It also believes that this platform will allow retailers to hire more, helping the Indian economy.
CAIT Vs Amazon, Flipkart
Over the years, CAIT has raised a series of allegations saying that both ecommerce giants — Amazon and Flipkart. This includes flouting foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, eating into the businesses of local traders, and depriving the government of goods and service tax (GST).
The traders association has also reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, minister of industry and commerce Piyush Goyal, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Competition Commission of India (CCI) and other government departments and officials.
In response, Piyush Goyal had summoned both Amazon and Flipkart, in October 2019, to discuss the deep discounting and non-compliance to FDI. Meanwhile, the CCI, on January 13, had ordered an investigation into the businesses of Amazon and Flipkart.