Kirthiga Reddy, a woman of many firsts

Now first female investing partner at Softbank's $100 billion Vision Fund, Reddy's career has had one milestone after another

exchange4media Staff 11-December-2018

Kirthiga Reddy

Kirthiga Reddy, primarily known for her seven-year stint at Facebook India, created headlines when Japanese investment giant Softbank, roped her in as as a partner in its $100 billion Vision Fund. She is the first female investing partner in a team of over 12 people who oversee this venture. Media reports suggest that Rajeev Misra, who heads the Vision Fund, had been working towards hiring more women into his crew, including at the level of managing partners.

Based out of Silicon Valley, her focus will be frontier technologies such as AI, robotics, health, bio engineering, IoT and more. She will be working closely with Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, who is located in the Bay Area. 

Disclosing this development on Facebook, Reddy wrote: "I look forward to bringing my technical and business expertise – from both enterprise and consumer technology, in developed and emerging markets – to the Vision Fund team. Like in other investment firms, the Venture Partner role enables quick integration of new talent from non-investing backgrounds, which is a perfect fit for me"

SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund has been touted as one of the biggest disruptors of the venture capital business, and has committed to invest close to $65 billion in companies like Uber, WeWork and Didi, say reports.

Reddy is known for several firsts. One of the first employees at Facebook India, she started India operations from scratch, which included expanding userbase, and helped contribute to its global business through ad sales with major tie-ups such as Coca Cola India and Yepme. She served as the Managing Director for India and South Asia market until 2016, following which she relocated to the company's US headquarters, serving as Managing Global Client Partner and Emerging Markets Lead.

Most importantly, Reddy led Facebook's global marketing partnership for the Financial Services vertical and also partnered with the company's strategic global advertisers on their Emerging Markets strategy, with a focus on India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Middle East and South Africa. She even led financial services vertical for Facebook Global Accounts and advised on global marketing activations including the Olympics. As a result, she has been one of the leading forces behind the company's expansive growth in the country.      

Prior to this development, she also worked with established companies such as Silicon Graphics and Motorola. During her tenure at Silicon Graphics, she was the youngest director of engineering. In 2008, Reddy started working with the US-based Phoenix Technologies where she led a global team located in US, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. 

An alumnus of Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Reddy comes with over 20 years of experience in building high-growth global businesses in roles spanning sales, marketing, operations, product management and engineering.

In 2011, she became Fortune India's Top 50 Most Powerful Women and was also featured in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013. She topped the list of IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women list in media, marketing and advertising in 2015.

 

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Vodafone Idea new campaign makes network engineers the hero

First marketing campaign of 2019, #Strongereveryhour, conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather India, showcases improved network at crowded places

exchange4media Staff 17 hours ago

vodafone

With data becoming integral to our mobile lives, a seamless network experience is critical to access information, fulfil entertainment needs and have conversations. Telecom network, Vodafone Idea, welcomes the New Year with the launch of #StrongerEveryHour. This campaign aims to highlight the improved network of ‘Vodafone SuperNet 4G - India’s Data Strong Network™’ especially in crowded zones, where a tower is being added every hour. 
 
Vodafone has launched another campaign succeeding the #StrongerTogether campaign. The #StrongerEveryHour campaign is based on the insight that customers think of the service provider especially when they have a poor network experience. Vodafone has launched this campaign with reassured promise that customers will receive the strongest data connectivity on their phones even in crowded places. Even when stuck in a traffic jam at a crowded signal or travelling in a crowded train, customers will not have to wait for buffering the climax scene while watching their favourite shows/series or miss a turn in the midst of an addictive/engrossing online game or get a patchy network while on a video call with their loved ones.  
 
While customers enjoy uninterrupted network experience, the most important people behind that experience go unacknowledged. Network engineers, who work tirelessly in the background to ensure a seamless network experience, never get applauded for all their hard work. 
The creative by Ogilvy & Mather identifies these unsung heroes. The commercials depicts Vodafone’s network engineers moving around in crowded places, enhancing the network experience where it matters the most.   

Commenting on the new campaign, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “We are making significant investments in improving the network as the data uptake in India creates some global benchmarks. Vodafone SuperNet 4G – The Data Strong Network™ will be strengthened as towers get added every hour, especially at crowded places. For any telecom service provider network engineers are the backbone for providing uninterrupted connectivity. Through this campaign, we are saluting these heroes for helping us deliver superior customer experience. Driven by digital, the #StrongerEveryHour campaign finely captures the essence of providing a seamless network experience across other mediums like TV, OOH, print and radio.” 

Kiran Antony, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Pvt. Ltd, said, “When a network works perfectly fine, no one ever remembers the people who work behind the scenes to make it run seamlessly. This insight is what helped us humanize the network improvement efforts of Vodafone, while staying focused on delivering the message - seamless network experience even in crowded places because we are adding a tower every hour. The campaign revolves around conversations between two network engineers while they are busy adding new towers.” 

The 360-degree campaign has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather India. Presenting a wholesome marketing mix, the campaign will connect with customers across diverse mediums like OOH, radio, print and digital. 

 

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Tonic Worldwide wins digital mandate for MobiiStar

The account will be handled out of Tonic Worldwide's Delhi office and the team will manage the digital strategy, social media and ORM mandate

exchange4media Staff 18 hours ago

Tonic Worldwide Mobiistar

Mobiistar, a Vietnamese smartphone brand, has roped in Tonic Worldwide as its digital creative agency, post a multi-agency pitch.
The account will be handled out of Tonic's Delhi office and the team will manage the digital strategy, social media and ORM mandate.

Aniruddha Deb, Chief Marketing Officer, Mobiistar, said, “We are happy to partner with Tonic Worldwide for the digital marketing mandate. It's going to be an exciting partnership with Tonic as they are aligned with our vision for the brand and business. We are really connected with the ideas, the enthusiasm and the vibrant energy that the Tonic team brought to the table during the pitch process and we look forward to our partnership.”

Commenting on the account win, Tonic’s Chief Business Officer, Sudish Balan said, “We are poised to enter exciting times as a digital partner for Mobiistar as the company is all set to aggressively enter the budget smartphone market and establish a strong foothold amongst the audiences.  With our strategic understanding of the digital audiences and their consumer behavior on social, we plan to deliver the results with targeted storytelling, leading to measurable results for brand scores and sales. Research, Analytics, Data, Storytelling and Technology are the 5 key pillars that will drive our strategy for Mobiistar and we are confident that our partnership will help them gain a strong digital footprint.”

The agency will help the smartphone brand in leveraging its digital image through a meticulous understanding of the consumer’s mindset, behaviour, motivations and triggers. This will help Mobiistar in creating a unique digital identity for themselves in the cluttered smartphone market.

Supporting this, Tonic Worldwide has also planned multiple digital campaigns in the coming months to amplify Mobiistar's presence across digital platforms.

Entering the Indian smartphone market last year, the mobile brand has over 1000 service centres pan India. Mobiistar aims to be one of the leading handset brands in the sub 10k segment.

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DAN-e4m to unveil third edition of Digital Advertising conference, Digital Report tomorrow

The theme of the conference is ‘Digital Marketing to Digital Transformation’ & will have eminent speakers from Google, LinkedIn, FB, HUL, Marico, Maruti Suzuki, Republic TV, ABP among others

exchange4media Staff 22 hours ago

DAN

The third edition of the Dentsu Aegis Network- exchange4media Digital Advertising Conference and the unveiling of the Digital Report will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai from 3 pm onwards.

Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the leading global media conglomerates in India that specialises in Media, Digital and Creative, is ready to launch the annual edition of the Dentsu Aegis Network-e4m Digital Report. The report will be a comprehensive compilation of real time facts and figures pertaining to the entire Digital domain. 

To get a sneak preview, watch the video here:

The event is a half-day conference and will have a line-up of a keynote session, standalone speakers and interesting panel discussions around Digital Advertising. The theme for the DAN e4m Digital Advertising Conference this year is ‘Digital Marketing to Digital Transformation’. 

The evening will began with a Fireside Chat with Rajan Anandan - Vice President South East Asia & India, Google along with Vivek Bhargava - Chief Executive Officer, DAN Performance Group on the topic '3V's of Digital: Video, Voice and Vernacular'. This will be followed by Owners Panel Discussion on ‘Digital Beyond Marketing’ moderated by Ashish Bhasin - Chairman & CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network with panel members Ajoy Roy-Chowdhury, Global Agency Lead - EMEA, Facebook; Arnab Goswami - MD & Editor In Chief, Republic TV; Avinash Pandey - Chief Executive Officer, ABP News Network and Puja Pannum - Managing Director, MENA – Blis.

After unveiling the DAN-e4m Digital Report, a speaker session on ‘Transforming the Election Coverage on Digital’ will be conducted by Umang Bedi - President, Daily Hunt. This will be followed by Brands Panel Discussion on ‘Digital Beyond Performance’, which will be moderated by Shamsuddin Jasani – Group MD, Isobar South Asia along with panel members Pradeep Dwivedi - Group Advisor – Sakal Media Group; Sai Narayan - Head of Marketing, Policybazaar Group and Vikram Tanna - VP, Head of Advertising Sales and Business Head of Regional Clusters – South Asia, Discovery Communications India.  

The evening will conclude with a Marketers Panel Discussion on ‘Marketing in a post Digital World’ moderated by Virginia Sharma - Director, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn along with panel members Anuradha Aggarwal - Former Chief Marketing Officer, Marico; Gauravjeet Singh - General Manager - Media (South Asia), Unilever and Tarun Garg - Executive Director – Marketing , Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

For more details, click here: https://e4mevents.com/dan-2019/home

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With Hotstar Specials, Hotstar to become the canvas for the biggest Indian storytellers

The brand of original content labelled Hotstar Specials, scheduled to launch in March, will be behind paywall

exchange4media Staff 22 hours ago

Hotstar

Star India is ready with its next big leap in content on the back of its OTT platform, Hotstar, which is frequented by 15 crores daily. The company announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, a content foray featuring shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers, scheduled for March.The content will be behind the paywall. The directors include Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao, Sharad Devarajan and Salman Khan.

With this Gaurav Banerjee, President and Head - Hindi GEC, Star India, hopes Hotstar to become the canvas for some of the biggest storytellers. “We are proud to welcome back Shekhar Kapur. His last Indian film 'Bandit Queen, after that he comes back. We are working with those who have established themselves as the biggest names in Indian entertainment,” he pointed out. This has been in work for the past 6-8 months.

Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India said, “With Hotstar Specials we hope to create the biggest Indian stories delivered to a billion screens. To bring this vision alive, we are proud to partner with a stellar line up of talent who are headlining our first set of Hotstar Specials."

Nikhil Madhok, EVP & Head Hotstar Original Content said, “As the number of screens is exploding from 20 crores in the past three years between cinema, mobile and theatre to 60 screens how can we up our game as far as content is concerned to be ready for this new world? Our approach is Hotstar Specials.”

It will start with drama series which happens to be the most consumed genre on this platform. “The range of drama series and formats we will evaluate under this initiative will be broad. The stories will provide a burst of variety across genres and formats and will be available in seven languages for viewers to consume them in a language of their choice. They will leverage the unprecedented reach of Hotstar to reach the length and breadth of the country and also the global audience,” shared Banerjee who wants to deliver the cinematic experience on this medium.

It will feature an extensive variety of Indian stories, mounted on a big scale, unconstrained by format. As a result Banerjee is only looking at making massy content, “We don’t want them to be niche. We can create an environment where some of the biggest storytellers find it exciting to do their best work with us.”

Facts and figures

 

  • The finale of the previous IPL tournament was watched by 10 crore viewers on Hotstar
  • Around 15 crores come and watch
  • On daily basis viewers roughly spend about 45 min
  • It has 350 million downloads and over 150mn monthly active users
  • One of its most popular shows ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ is primarily consumed on this platform

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Hotstar announces original content under Hotstar Specials; to be out in March

Hotstar Specials will feature shows from the best storytellers of the country, including Shekar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu and Salman Khan

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

Hotstar

Star India, one of the popular and innovative content company across TV, films and Ssports, is ready with its next big leap in content on the back of its OTT, Hotstar. The company has announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, a bold and ambitious content foray featuring shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers. 

Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India said, “Star has always challenged conventions and been at the forefront of content reinvention in India. With the mobile phone leading an explosion in the number of screens in the country, we feel that our content also needs to reinvent and boldly move forward. With Hotstar Specials we hope to create the biggest Indian stories delivered to a billion screens. To bring this vision alive, we are proud to partner with a stellar line up of talent who are headlining our first set of Hotstar Specials."

For its first set of Hotstar Specials, Star India has partnered with the best storytellers of India including Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikkhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao, Sharad Devarajan and Salman Khan.

Hotstar Specials will feature an extensive variety of Indian stories, mounted on a big scale, unconstrained by format. It will enable makers to tell their most passionate stories and provide them unmatched reach. The stories will provide a burst of variety across genres and formats and will be available in seven languages for viewers to consume them in a language of their choice. They will leverage the unprecedented reach of Hotstar to reach the length and breadth of the country and also reach global audiences.  

With 350 million downloads and over 150mn monthly active users, Hotstar is significantly bigger than its closest competitors. The launch of Hotstar Specials is yet another moment of disruption for Hotstar, which has been at the forefront of change in the space of digital content in India.

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RentoMojo launches new TVC emphasising the concept of subscription

The 25 seconds ad film uses relatable life scenarios highlighting the advantages of subscription versus outright purchase

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

RentoMojo

RentoMojo, a lifestyle subscription and consumer leasing business, announces the launch of its online video highlighting the benefits of the unique propositions of ‘rent to own’, of assets procured from the company through subscription – Rental Monthly Instalments (RMI). 

The video primarily targets a generation that is constantly on-the-move while also dreading the prospect or the hassles associated with relocation such as shipping large household assets like furniture and appliances. 

While ownership of such assets through outright purchase puts the onus of transportation and installation on the buyer, subscription of these from RentoMojo relieves the subscriber of these worries, thereby making it an extremely practical and effortless option. It also targets consumers who are wary of investing large sums in household assets, doubtful of its utility, comfort or longevity.

The video campaign uses relatable life scenarios, combining them with light humour and metaphor to distinguish the brand’s unique propositions and to enhance its recall value. The narrative is short and to the point, yet highly effective, as it is aligned with some of the key consumer pinpoints. 

Titled ‘Try before you buy’, the film highlights the option of experiencing a product for a period, before deciding to own it. Viewers here witness a young man assuring himself of the comforts of a bed by trying various sleeping positions. 

However, in an amusing twist to this narrative, the video then reveals that the man was at a store with three sales guys staring down at him. The jingle ‘Why commit to buying when you can rent it, try before you decide to buy it’ sums it up visibly unveiling the benefit of the concept. 

Speaking on the launch of the new campaign, Geetansh Bamania, Founder & CEO, RentoMojo said, “When people make an outright purchase they are generally stuck with that product for a long period, whether they like it or not. This campaign aims to showcase the best alternative to this scenario, while also reinforcing our unique proposition of flexibility, that is - to return at will and rent to own.”

He further added, “Our platform gives consumers the power to choose to return or own the product they have subscribed to. It is a stepping stone in changing the mind-set of today’s consumers and draw them towards a subscription-based lifestyle.” 

The campaign is currently being promoted on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

RentoMojo offers its subscribers, industry-first concepts, like the ‘Rental Monthly Instalments’, or RMI – a more economical option compared to outright purchase, to acquire assets such as furniture, appliances, electronic devices and bikes. Customers also have the added flexibility to own, return or swap the products subscribed, at will.

Credits
Creative Credits: RentoMojo Brand Team
Agency: In house
Production House: StoryBrewHouse
Director: Rahul Dagli

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Amazon gaining ad dollars due to Facebook’s privacy woes

Online retailer likely to double ad revenue in next 2 years

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

facebook

Amazon has been gaining all the advertising dollars that would have gone to Facebook, if not for the latter’s privacy issues, a study has revealed. 

As per media reports, it has been projected that Amazon is likely to double its ad revenue from US ad buyers in the next two years with its share of digital ad spending increasing to 12 per cent by 2020. 

On the other hand, Facebook, which has been badly hit by defections due to privacy scandals, is expected to lose 3 per cent of market share during the same period. 

Google and YouTube have also been affected but their losses will be less severe, the study has found. 

However, Facebook continues to occupy the second place with a 20 per cent share of the total US ad spend, as recorded in 2018, much ahead of Amazon’s 3 per cent stake.  

In some good news for Facebook, Instagram has posted a rising digital ad share, thanks to the success of its ‘Stories’ app with some reports saying that its share of digital video budgets from ad buyers will double between 2018 and 2020. 

Advertisers have been drawn towards Amazon due to the improved conversion rates it offers and its unique position of being able to connect ads to purchases on the same page. 

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SC rejects appeals against I&B ministry cancelling digital addressable system licence

Digicable Network India and Scod18 Networking can apply for fresh permission: Court

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

supreme court

The Supreme Court has turned down appeals made by Digicable Network India and Scod18 Networking against the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting cancelling their digital addressable system (DAS) licence. 

Justices Abhay Sapre and Indu Mahotra observed that both Digicable and Scod18’s arguments lacked merit and thus upheld the MIB’s cancellation orders. They, however, said the companies were free to apply for a grant of fresh permission. 

The division bench of the Bombay High Court had earlier dismissed appeals filed by the two companies against the MIB’s cancellation orders. MIB cancelled the DAS licences of Digicable and Scod18 in 2014 after the Ministry of Home Affairs denied security clearance. 

The two companies then challenged the cancellation order before the Bombay High Court but the writ petition was turned down. The HC orders were then challenged in the apex court. 

The bench noted that the order of cancellation was passed as per Rule 11C and hence it was rightly upheld by the High Court in the impugned order. 

It further contended that the grant of permission was subject to security clearance from the central government.

“In this case, admittedly the appellant failed to obtain the security clearance as provided under Rule 11C of the Rules. It was a mandatory requirement as provided under Rule 11C of the Rules. Since the grant of permission was subject to obtaining of the security clearance from the concerned ministry, the competent authority was justified in cancelling the conditional permission for want of security clearance,” the bench said in its judgment. 

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BBC set to collaborate with European broadcasters to counter Netflix, Amazon Prime 

Likely to showcase more content like ‘Luther’ and ‘Dr Who’ along with that being streamed on iPlayer

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

bbc

The BBC is set to forge stronger alliances with European public service broadcasters to counter competition posed by US streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

BBC director general Lord Tony Hall, President of the European Broadcasting Union (which represents 117 public networks), will reportedly lead a movement for a stronger collaboration as European broadcasters  have expressed their worry about the US video streaming companies pouring more funds into producing more content for local consumers. 

BBC may now bring more content like ‘Luther’ and ‘Dr Who’, which are running on European platforms. They can also boost their content by introducing continental content that is streamed on iPlayer. 

A statement issued by BBC said, “We and other public service broadcasters care passionately about homegrown content because it reflects the type of people in those countries. We want to see the broadcasters thrive and, of course, other countries in the EU want to see them thrive in a fast-changing market.” 

Meanwhile, BBC has collaborated with commercial network ITV in the US for running video on-demand service Britbox that will provide consumers a digital catalogue of British content, both new and vintage. 

It had tried to attempt a similar collaboration with Channel 4 in the UK almost a decade ago. However, Project Kangaroo could not be launched as it was blocked by the now defunct Competition Commission in 2009. UK’s TV regulator Ofcom has been now trying to put Project Kangaroo back on the agenda and has urged public service broadcasters to join in for protecting their businesses. 

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How e-commerce will be impacted by the government's new draft policy

Brand experts share their views on the new policy and if this will mark a new beginning for the retailers as they contribute to be a major vote bank for any political party

Dolly Mahayan 1 day ago

e-commerce

Last week the Indian government clean bowled e-commerce players when it announced to issue a new draft policy for e-commerce market very soon. The decision by the Department of Ministry and Commerce could be seen as a step to protect the business of small retailers. It has also appointed a nodal agency, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to look into the matter of drafting the policy. Recently, it had introduced many changes to foreign direct investment regulations, banning e-commerce players from selling products from entities in which they have an equity interest, restraining huge discounts on products, and denying exclusive tie-up with any brand. 

The new policy could also be seen as a calculated move by the government to excite offline retailers, sighting general elections in the coming months. The retailers were already not happy with the implementation of demonetisation and GST, as it hampered their business for a long time, especially the small storeowners. The new policy to regulate e-commerce business has already raised concerns by big players like Amazon and Walmart. However, the million dollar question is how the new policy will impact the e-commerce industry or will this mark a new beginning for the retailers. Is this a New Year gift by the government to woo retailers as they contribute to be a major vote bank for any political party? We spoke to brand experts to understand their views on the new policy.

Repercussion on the e-commerce industry

According to N Chandramouli, Founder of TRA, “Deep discounting by e-commerce impacts offline retail sales, as the value-conscious Indian consumers naturally gravitate towards lesser price. Consumers initial attraction to e-commerce has come due to discounts, just the market was built by Ola or Uber, and if the discounts go away, so will the customers”.

“The consumer also now wants to experience the product before purchase, something that is evident by the changes happening in organised retail. They are converting large 'mall' like spaces into retail experience centres. Perhaps, the return of the consumer to brick-and-mortar will speedup up due to the discounting restrictions,” he adds.

However, Saurabh Uboweja, Brand Expert and CEO, Brands of Desire, believes, If the policy is implemented in its true spirit, it could significantly impact the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of the leading e-commerce players in the short term.

Brand Guru, Harish Bijoor states, “Discounts have been the bane of the commerce industry. The business has forever been in the grip of discounts. To that extent, offline players have always complained. A keener scrutiny on discounts will really need e-commerce players to redefine their play, with the solids of a business mindset rather than the gas of discounts. The impact will be palpable, much to the delight of offline players in retail spaces”.

Government’s vote bank strategy for retailers

One of the reasons behind the government’s new move could be the general election, which are going to be held three-four months from now. To which Bijoor agrees and says, “The trading community is a very important part of the vote bank to any political party. If the trader is not with you, a huge chunk of votes go to the Opposition”. 

Chandramouli also admits, “There has been mounting pressure on the government from the trading and retail community over the last few months. This move will naturally help pacify this very large voting group”.

Whereas Uboweja explains, “Policy announcements in months leading to elections will be naturally seen from the political lens. The offline retailers’ community represented by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is more united than ever and has been pressurising the government for quite some time now. They are an influential trade body today covering a significantly large voter bank. Ignoring their demands could prove to be very costly for the incumbent government given that small traders have already suffered the most with demonetisation and the introduction of GST.”


Are e-commerce players ready for the change?

The e-commerce players, especially those with big investments made in India will naturally feel the brunt of this. Apart from this, there are many unique Indian e-commerce companies which have a unique model, and they too are going to be impacted as fresh FDI will get stalled due to this.

“Imagine a Walmart, having invested $16bn in Flipkart just recently, suddenly gets hit by such a regulation. Its expected growth with the acquisition comes in jeopardy,” expresses Chandramouli.

Bijoor pointed out, “e-commerce players will use this opportunity to strengthen their image led brand offerings as opposed to price led commodity offerings. At last, e-commerce players need to start thinking like brands, rather than commodity players that play on price arbitrage.”

Uboweja shares, “e-commerce players have been playing on the edge for quite some time and have benefitted from unfair trade practices to grow their wallets. Some of the policy elements were already in effect but weren’t implemented well. It is unlikely that the policy came as a surprise to them. What they will seek is time to enforce the new draft so that they can manoeuvre their financial and business operations to align with the law of the land.”

A dire need of a policy for e-commerce

While, we all agree that online shopping has changed the entire landscape of shopping in India, we couldn’t deny the heavy losses faced by the e-commerce companies, due to the deep discounting. Is it, the need of the hour that we need an appropriate policy for e-commerce industry as well? 

Explains Uboweja, “e-commerce companies have made losses because of heavy discounting to grow their user base. This is similar to the state of the aviation industry in India, where airlines are under-pricing the travel fares to grow their traveller base. As a strategy, it can be effective for a short to mid-term but is certainly not business sustainable in the long term. We must credit the e-commerce companies for contributing to the creation of a totally new industry and millions of direct and indirect jobs, however, they may not be allowed a home run going forward as it may prove counterproductive to creating an environment of healthy competition if, we are left with only a few large players controlling trade.” 

“e-commerce is an evolving sector with many new business models and approaches. The policy approach to e-commerce has to be open and exploratory, not closed and restrictive. It is here to stay, and instead of playing online versus offline in policymaking, it has to have an inclusive approach, adds Chandramouli”.

A post-graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dolly reports on advertising, marketing as well as the digital domain. In her free time, she loves travelling and reading.

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