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Reliance to Enter the e-commerce Industry: Report

Reliance is looking at toppling Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart from their top positions. Paytm Mall is just a small competitor in comparison

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In this photograph taken on June 6, 2013 Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani poses as he arrives for the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai. India's 100 richest people are for the first time all billionaires, according to an annual Forbes survey released September 25, 2014, with the country's top earners worth a third more combined than last year. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani topped the list for an eighth straight year with a 23.6-billion dollar fortune, Forbes India said on its website. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE/FILES

When Paytm Mall started, it took a cue from its investor Alibaba and aimed to become a digital universe for everything.

As part of its initial offers, the company started giving cashback to attract customers.

According to Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst, Devices and Ecosystem at Counterpoint Research, it was a short-term strategy and gaining royalty in the long-term in a price-sensitive market like India was an uphill task which depends on multiple factors, including service delivery, exclusive offerings and additional product bundling, etc.

“As cashback disappeared, so did the customers,” said Naiya.

Paytm Mall stopped fighting the low-margin, high cash burn e-commerce battle, and began altering its strategy to become an O2O (online to offline) platform for small sellers.

The announcement by Reliance to enter the fray was really worrisome for Paytm and its owners.

“Reliance is working on creating the world’s largest online-to-offline New Commerce Platform,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries said at the “Make in Odisha Conclave” in November last year.

With a deep footprint in over 10,000 Reliance Retail outlets pan-India, Reliance has a definite edge over all other retails players out there.

Reliance
Reliance.

Reliance has capital, an unending capacity to scale up, massive retail footprint and resources to beat the competition. Mukesh Ambani aims to become the top retail player in the country and can easily do that like he has done with Reliance Jio,” Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research, told IANS.

One thing that has always worked in Reliance’s favour is their deep discounting strategy and this will be the key differentiator with their ecommerce platform too.

“Paytm Mall faltered owing to adopting a wrong model. It is looking at a very difficult time ahead as unlike China, India is yet to mature for the online-to-offline (O2O) marketplace,” Meena said.

Thomas George, Senior Vice President and Head of CyberMedia Research (CMR) went a step further.

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“I will not be surprised if Paytm could be an acquisition target for Reliance or Alibaba to pursue their India e-commerce business opportunity,” George told IANS.

Alibaba never saw long-term growth in the e-commerce sector in India so they placed their bet on the burgeoning digital payments sector which, according to Google and Boston Consulting Group, will be worth $500 billion by 2020.

Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma thought otherwise and the result is for everyone to see.

“Reliance is looking at toppling Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart from their top positions. Paytm Mall is just a small competitor in comparison,” said Meena. (IANS)

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BSES Customers can Now Recharge Prepaid Meters via Paytm, PhonePe

A pre-paid meter can also be recharged by visiting a BSES payment counter

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BSES, Digi Seva, Delhi
This will provide single window computerised facilities for customers to apply for various services. Pixabay

In a further expansion of its digitising programme, Delhi power distribution company (discom) BSES on Friday announced that it has operationalised the facility of digital recharge of customers’ pre-paid meters.

Customers can now recharge their pre-paid meters online through e-wallets like Paytm and PhonePe and through the BSES mobile app and website, the discom said in a statement.

Pointing out that it is an easy process to apply for a pre-paid electricity connection, the statement said that besides applying for a pre-paid meter, “a BSES consumer can also re-charge his/her meter easily. For doing so, they don’t even have to visit a BSES office. They can recharge them online through e-wallets like Paytm and PhonePe and through BSES’ mobile app and website.”

earth hour, bses
Last year, BSES saved 183 MW in Delhi’s total contribution of 305 MW during Earth Hour, it added. Pixabay

A pre-paid meter can also be recharged by visiting a BSES payment counter.

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Customers can connect with the discom and apply for a host of services, including applying for a new connections, registering complaints, from their homes and offices using the mobile app, website and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the statement added. (IANS)