E-commerce in India is at the crossroads. The debate on whether Indian e-commerce can turn from an ugly duckling into a swan depends on which side of the fence you sit.
On one side are local e-commerce companies—Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, and others—who are going through a massive restructuring that’s left everyone gasping for breath.
At the other the march of global companies like Amazon and the potential entry of the Chinese trio—Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent—seem to suggest there is considerable headroom for growth.
Galloping smartphone ownership and the declining cost of data continue to make India one of the world's largest e-commerce opportunities. Disruptive technologies, whether it is big data, analytics, machine learning or artificial intelligence, are pushing the frontiers of what is possible.
But the reality is that no one has found a sustainable way to do business yet. So the real issue is, can technology and business model innovation change the way Indians shop?
Chances are, the next five years may look very different from the last five years.
Founding Fuel organised a public conversation, in partnership with BOOM Live, around the key challenges that will shape the e-commerce story in India over the next five years.
The panellists were:
Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder, Info-Edge
Amit Agarwal, vice president and country head, Amazon India
Haresh Chawla, partner, True North
The conversation was anchored by Indrajit Gupta, co-founder, Founding Fuel.