The increasing internet penetration and the growing preference among people to shop online is expected to drive the ecommerce market in India to reach $15 Bn by 2016, a 5x growth compared to the current standing of about $3 Bn, as stated by Google in its latest report.
The huge market opportunity, which India has provided for ecommerce players, has even attracted international players to come in and play their ecommerce game in the country. The perfect example would be Amazon, which commenced its operations in India last year and further invested $2 Bn in the country for expansion. On the other hand, homegrown players too have managed to get a lot of investor attention, evident from Flipkart’s recent $1 Bn funding followed by a $600 Mn round. With this another major player, Alibaba, is also trying to make its entry into the country by investing in Snapdeal, if reports are to be believed.
The increasing online shopping trend has even lurked the traditional retail majors like Reliance, Arvind and others to try their luck in ecommerce.
The year saw some big names investing in ecommerce, which appears to be the new addition to the ongoing trends in this segment.
When Ratan Tata, 73, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $103 Bn-in-revenues Tata conglomerate, made his personal investment in Snapdeal and Bluestone, it was taken as another biggie’s entry as an investor in the startup ecosystem. But as per a recent report Tata group started putting together the team which will be taking care of the Tata’s ecommerce foray, came to light and the reason of his investments in ecommerce got a little clearer. The day ended with the announcement of Ratan Tata’s investment in yet another ecommerce company i.e. UrbanLadder.
Ratan Tata has made two of his investments in companies that are operating in a niche space i.e. jewellery and home decor & furnishing, besides Snapdeal, which operates on a marketplace model (Tata too plans to make a foray into ecommerce soon via the marketplace model).