India prepares for ecommerce boom

India prepares for ecommerce boom

Ecommerce looks set to boom in India in the coming years, with many companies looking to take advantage.

Ecommerce has taken developed nations by storm, changing the way both consumers and businesses make purchases. It has been hugely popular across Europe, the US and Asia for years, and now other nations are catching up.

One country where ecommerce is expected to boom is India. A PwC report, using data from the Internet and Mobile Association of India, shows the sector grew in value from $3.8 billion (£2.4 billion) in 2009 to an estimated $12.6 billion in 2013, and this rise is expected to continue.

The Financial Times notes Ericsson research suggesting around 130 million Indians owned a smartphone in 2014, a figure that is expected to rise to 750 million in 2020.

This predicted rise has attracted the interest of many venture capital companies, as well as major firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google, who have recognised the country as a potential stepping stone for expansion into Asia, a market they are yet to fully break into.

Indians have already adopted Facebook and Twitter and now other firms are hoping to acquire market share. Amazon invested $2 billion into India as it looks to challenge Flipkart, the current market leader in ecommerce in the country, while taxi app Uber is also trying to make inroads.

However, foreign companies are not guaranteed to repeat the success they have seen elsewhere. Speaking to the Financial Times, India managing director at venture group Sequoia Shailendra Singh explained "clone businesses" do not fare well in the country.

"What India needs are mutants, meaning businesses with the same underlying DNA as those that have worked elsewhere but which come with extra powers and abilities," he explained.

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