e-Commerce sector to grow if inter-state tax issues are resolved: Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Tourism
New Delhi, 23rd July, 2015: The e-commerce sector, that is witnessing exponential growth is also bogged down by several obstacles, primary being the interstate tax issues and logistical problems. The problem was affirmed by Dr. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, GoI, when he said that the e-commerce sector can grow exponentially if inter-state tax issues are resolved. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day e-Tailing & Travel Commerce Conference, 2015, here in New Delhi.
During his special address, Dr. Billa, highlighted that the Government is currently focusing on two aspects including, enabling people to get on-board e-Commerce platforms and on transforming India from being a job seeker to a job creator.
Mr. Kumar Karpe, CEO, TechProcess, in his address, spoke about the distinctiveness of the e-Commerce sector and how it is highly challenging and that there are a lot of opportunities for growth in the sector. He went on to say: “Things have evolved over the years and consumers have shown faith in the e-Commerce model. Now as the m-Commerce space is evolving, the rate by which the consumers are moving from e-Commerce to m-Commerce is phenomenal.”
Talking on the challenges being faced by the sector Mr. Karpe further stated, “The most important challenge that we are facing in this sector lies in the services like cash-on-delivery and on cash-back services. These services need to receive more attention in order to gain the consumers’ faith which has been the major factor for the growth of m-Commerce in the country.”
This was followed by a plenary session on the topic, ‘Shop with a Tap: Scaling up m-Commerce’ that saw the likes of Shamik Sharma, Chief Product & Technology Officer, Myntra, Satyam Bansal, Director, Mobile Alliances, Flipkart, Deepak Sharma, Head of Digital Initiatives, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Pushpinder Singh, Founder, TravelKhana discussed and deliberated on the challenges and growth drivers like the ‘App-only strategy’, the ‘emergence of e-Wallet’ and ‘App Discovery’.
The session highlighted the challenges faced by e-commerce players in the mobility journey and the ways to tackle them. Speaking on the App-only strategy adopted by several players, Mr. Pushpinder Singh, Founder, TravelKhana said, “Adaptation of the App-only feature has given us almost 15% more audience in comparison to any other platforms.”
Speaking further on the strategy, Mr. Shamik Sharma, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Myntra said, “Much earlier, we have seen most of our traffic coming from mobile devices alone and hence the App-only strategy was well sketched out. On the mobile front, network is the most prominent issue which leads to transaction failures as high as 30%. But as the technology evolves, we are expecting better results.”
Mr. Shamik Sharma, also spoke on the emergence of e-Wallet as one of the major trends in the m-Commerce industry. He said, “e-Wallets are really a very good option but people generally do not prefer spending their money on a platform that only offers specific goods/services. Wallets are not lifelong solutions. In other words, your bank is also a wallet and hence people prefer transacting through their banks alone.”
The other trends that were discussed during the session included the problem of App Discovery. According to Satyam Bansal, Director, Mobile Alliances, Flipkart, “Capital is a major factor which drives your brand. Apart from Capital aspect, we use various methods in which discounts are the major one. We offer various app only discounts which give consumers an option of either cash back or direct discount. Various sales too drive your app’s popularity. Everyone in this field are opting for various sales and thus helping brands to connect with consumers.”
The Internet and Mobile Association of India [IAMAI] is a young and vibrant association with ambitions of representing the entire gamut of digital businesses in India. It was established in 2004 by the leading online publishers, but in the last 11 years has come to effectively address the challenges facing the digital and online industry including mobile content and services, online publishing, mobile advertising, online advertising, ecommerce and mobile & digital payments among others.
Eleven years after its establishment, the association is still the only professional industry body representing the online and mobile VAS industry in India. The association is registered under the Societies Act and is a recognized charity in Maharashtra. With a membership of 190 plus Indian and MNC companies, offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, the association is well placed to work towards charting a growth path for the digital industry in India.
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