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India is benefitting from e-commerce kicking in late: Graham Green

15-December-2014
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India is benefitting from e-commerce kicking in late: Graham Green

Graham Green is an acknowledged pioneer of multi-channel commerce in Europe. Named 19th in the E-Commerce Movers & Shakers List for Europe in 2010, Green was also the Founder and CEO of Tagmanet, a virtual fulfilment company and Co-founder of  Zendor.com, one of the very first ecommerce & fulfilment businesses in the UK, which went on to be sold to GSI commerce and subsequently eBay and today forms the heart of its European distribution business.

Graham has delivered full ecommerce solutions and strategic projects for a host of brands such as ASOS, Austin Reed, NBrown, Boots, Ann Summers, Barratts Priceless, Betterware, Pentland, Pets at Home and Scotts of Stow, among others and if you add the transactions up from sites he has created or managed, it adds up to over £2,000,000,000 in transactions.

At present, working as an advisor to several blue chip companies and private equity funds on various multi-channel projects and investments in the ecommerce space, he also works with companies in various strategic roles across Australia, USA, UK and Africa. Green is an advisory board member with Ace Turtle, a Bangalore based Technology Company.

In conversation with exchange4media, Green shares his knowledge in the field of e-commerce, global trends and growth of digital medium in India and more...

What is your take on the valuations of Indian e-commerce space?

Valuations are for speculators. My expertise is about enabling retailers to capitalize on a fabulous opportunity. If they do make the best use of this time, then the value of their companies can only go up.

Being a thought leader of e-commerce in Europe becoming a board member of Ace Turtle in India, what is the difference in both the countries in terms of e-commerce business?

It's a big question that could be an hour long discussion but if I was forced to simplify it, then it's all about timing.

What are the global trends in e-commerce?

Leveraging one’s strengths in a particular area is extremely important, especially in a dynamic environment such as the e-commerce environment. eBay, which is a pure play online player for example has partnered with Argos, one of the biggest retailers in the UK to offer what’s known as a click and collect service where you order online on eBay and pick it up from an Argos retail store. You might be thinking what has Argos, a retailer that has majority of its business in the brick and mortar space got to gain from such a transaction. Argos is looking at that customer as a whole new customer and the footfalls in the stores will increase multi-fold. Another trend that is catching up is new payment systems. Interesting developments will take place in mobile payments like Apple Pay and Ali Pay, these will come faster that we think.

E-Commerce: Is it a blessing or a disguise for both smaller and bigger brands?

It's all about embracing it. It is about the strategy and the choices you make.

With digital medium growing by leaps and bounds, what according to you will be the growth of the digital medium in India?

I do not see any barrier that will stop it emulating the West, Russia and China

When we speak about growth of digital ad spends, is it going to be a case of cannibalisation or overall increase in ad spends?

The global pattern is definitely overall increase.

In India we have generally seen consumers who are moving in a new direction but at times, advertisers and publishers are not quick enough to change their traditional approach or appreciate the need for change.

It is the same the world over: consumers lead the change and the smart retailers react to it. I do not see it going to go back to the way it was.

What are the major catalyst for mobile advertising and its growth in India?

Probably payments.

You will be an advisory board member with Ace Turtle, a Bangalore based Technology Company, what are your plans and the expertise that you are planning to bring on table?

I'm happy to let my CV talk for me, I'm not saying I know it all, but I've been involved in a lot in the ecommerce vertical and that amounts to a great deal of real experience. That will be where I help the Ace Turtle team.

India is actually benefitting from the fact that e-commerce has kicked in late in India. It has thus skipped two waves of failure that the e-commerce market in UK has gone through. Thus there are learnings from the mistakes that have been made in the western world that are being implemented and e-commerce in India today is built on strong pillars of success. This is one of my key roles as an advisor to Ace Turtle.
 

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