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DPIIT Sends Questionnaire to Amazon, Flipkart on FDI Norms Adherence: Report

The body also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should constitute a group of ministers (GoM) to look into the distortions in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar formats of retail

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Flipkart Buys Back Shares Worth $350 mn.
New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. IANS

After repeated complaints by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) over alleged violation of FDI norms by e-commerce majors, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has sent a questionnaire to Amazon and Flipkart over their adherence to the norms for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The questions are concerned with their fund flow, business model and inventory management, people in the know of things said, adding that it also asks the names of their respective top five sellers and price list of vendors on these platforms.

Official sources said that the department would look into their replies and then decide whether more clarification is required or any action needs to be taken.

“It is basically related to the complaints of small retailers, and a series of questions have been sent to them which are relevant to understand the allegations which small retailers make about these online platforms which are under FDI,” a source told IANS.

Questions sent to Amazon and Flipkart by IANS, however, were not immediately replied.

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Traders’ body CAIT has time and again approached the government for its intervention regarding the “deep” discounts offered by these platforms during festival sales. CAIT recently sought an independent audit of the business models of both Amazon and Flipkart on the charges of predatory pricing and deep discounting, among others.

amazon, one-day delivery
An Amazon Prime Truck is on the Road in Virginia, transporting thousands of items ordered from online giant Amazon. (D Bekheet/VOA)

The move by DPIIT comes after Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal last week warned of strict action against e-commerce companies if they were found violating India’s e-commerce policy.

In a related development, CAIT on Sunday alleged that not only the e-commerce companies, but even large number of brands in mobile, FMCG, electronics, electrical appliances, footwear, garments, gift articles, watches and other segments as well as several banks are also responsible for distortion of prices of different products on online portals.

“It is apparent that these brand-owning companies are also exploiting the offline market being hand in glove with e-commerce companies having separate price policy for both online and offline markets which is a clear violation of the Competition Act,” CAIT said in a statement.

It also criticised the banks which give cash back and different types of discounts for purchasing goods from e-commerce portals by making payments through their respective credit or debit cards.

The body also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should constitute a group of ministers (GoM) to look into the distortions in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar formats of retail. (IANS)

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Is Oracle Digital Assistant Smarter Than Amazon Alexa? Find Out Here!

Here's Why Oracle's digital assistant better than Amazon's Alexa

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Amazon Alexa may lag behind Oracel Digital Assistant. Pixabay

Alexa may be your perfect living room assistant, but when it comes to specific queries with particular vocabulary from enterprises, it lags behind in rich capabilities that Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) has to offer, a top company executive has stressed.

Oracle Digital Assistant can become your intelligent front-end — your smart router that’s able to send all your specific questions to relevant bots, according to Suhas Uliyar, VP-Product Management, Oracle Digital Assistant and Integration Cloud.

“It knows how to handle conflicts, manage security and so on and so forth. It has got Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is AI-trained so we call the routing of your questions to be relevant, and call it a skill now. Instead of bot, it’s a skill,” Uliyar told IANS during an interaction.

According to him, there are a couple of differences compared to Alexa as it works on the same model.

“Alexa is very implicit, where you have to say — Alexa, ask this skill to do something. While Oracle Digital Assistant is both explicit and implicit and you don’t need to sort of say ‘go ask the HCM (Human Capital Management) bot,’ for instance. It’ll just figure out that the question is for HCM bot and will answer accordingly,” Uliyar elaborated.

The other thing is to use the word ‘assistant’ and, according to him, we are overloading the term ‘assistant’ because if you have an ‘assistant’, she or he is smart enough to understand who you are, what your preferences are, know how you work.

“Most of the chatbots respond to a simple question and answer. Next time, it will probably remember who you are. So, the whole context is memory, and also the process side of things,” the Oracle executive added.

Oracle Digital Assistant provides the platform and tools to easily build AI-powered assistants that connect to your backend applications.

The digital assistant uses AI for natural language processing and understanding, to automate engagements with conversational interfaces that respond instantly, improve user satisfaction, and increase business efficiencies.

Most of those voice-enabled application programming interfaces (APIs) are being trained using what’s called Open Common Domain Models, which means that it understands our normal speaking style and content.

“What if an enterprise has a specific vocabulary? For example, a very common thing in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is what’s EBITDA for a company. You try saying EBITDA to Alexa or any other such assistant in the market today, and you’ll most likely draw a blank,” Uliyar told IANS.

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Oracle digital assistant uses AI for natural language processing and understanding. Pixabay

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is a measure of a company’s operating performance.

According to him, to serve customers with delightful experiences every single time, there has to be a lot of innovation happening — whether it’s mobile, chatbots, Blockchain, AI or AR/VR.

“With all these new realities, what enterprises really need is a platform that can pull that ‘holistic experience’ altogether. That’s sort of the topmost challenge that enterprise customers want to solve,” he noted.

Oracle Digital Assistant is very sophisticated. It has got deep learning and is based on a technology called Sequence-to-Sequence vectoring and creates what we call as logical forms of the statement.

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“We call it a deep semantic parsing. It’s the underlying technology and is very different given the advancements of deep learning. We can do a much better job instead of understanding the linguistic constructs, versus in the past. This is quite a bit of advancement. We’re definitely very excited about pushing the boundaries,” said Uliyar. (IANS)