e-commerce Wars in India
India which is the second largest country on the planet in terms of population has also become the host for the biggest e-commerce and cab sharing wars between global companies and local players. While USA and China has already seen winners in the e-commerce and ride sharing segments, India is still undecided on who the eventual winner is going to be. USA is being dominated by Amazon and Uber while China has Alibaba and Didi as the winners. India which has massive potential despite its abysmally low per capital income has seen top USA and Chinese companies going all out to win this war. They are either playing themselves (Amazon and Uber) or through Indian proxies (Flipkart, Paytm and Ola). The prize is so huge that these companies are pouring billions of dollars to become the top company in a county which will have the largest population of internet users in the next 15-20 years.
The Indian companies have complained to the government about the “capital dumping” by large well capitalized foreigners against whom they are unable to compete. Amazon recently reported a loss of almost $500 million last year on revenues which were not reaching the $400 million level. While Uber is said to be profitable, it too has been launching discount and freebie wars against local company Ola. Chinese internet giants have not directly entered the Indian market, but they are funding proxies behind the scenes. For example, Alibaba is promoting ewallet company PayTM which is losing millions of dollars to win customers. It has a stake in Snapdeal which is the 3rd largest e-commerce company.
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Nobody can afford to lose India as other large markets are already won and lost. India is the last big frontier for these Internet goliaths. They are employing all the weapons in their arsenal to win. The Indian government has smartly not chosen a side as Indian customers are getting a huge amount of services and goods at surprisingly low costs. It is also allowing Indians to skip a technology generation in a number of things such as moving directly to smartphone payments instead of using plastic cards. It also will lead to big box retailers never becoming as big as they did in USA and China.Google+