There you are, taking it easy on your summer holiday in Istanbul or Dubai, searching online for the next restaurant to sample. You may not know it, but the information you seek could be coming to you courtesy of a small company based in Gurgaon, near New Delhi.
Zomato, an online restaurant directory, has become a household name in India. That could soon be true in many other markets. Over the past year the website has expanded quickly overseas – from Poland to New Zealand – through a mixture of acquisitions and organic growth.
Ratan Tata (pictured), who was the head of India’s powerful Tata group until 2012, ushered in a period of ambitious international expansion at the company. He is one of the most respected figures in the business community today.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the illustrious businessman has personally invested in Snapdeal, the online marketplace that is battling to win a share of India’s fast-growing market for ecommerce.
Deutsche Post DHL, which makes money by shipping parcels around the world, plans to invest at least €100m in India over the next two years and is piloting a new e-commerce model for the Asia Pacific in the fast-growing market.
The move reinforces the recent take-off in India’s online shopping sector, as large platforms consolidate, infrastructure improves and internet penetration rises.
It’s all kicking off in Indian ecommerce. Flipkart, an ecommerce website founded by two former Amazon employees, raised $1bn in equity this week. Amazon itself quickly followed, with an announcement on Wednesday that it was investing a further $2bn in the country.
As competition becomes fierce at the top of the market, beyondbrics went to Bangalore to meet senior executives from Myntra, the fashion retailer that Flipkart acquired this year.
Money sent home by Nigeria’s emigrant workers traditionally covers basic expenses like housing, education and medicine. Today however, the burgeoning middle class of Africa’s most populous country is spending an increasing proportion of the $21bn remittances it receives each year on consumer goods like televisions, personal computers and fashionable clothing.
For ecommerce startup Jumia, the African diaspora represents a potentially lucrative market and this month it launched a website through which UK-dwelling Nigerians can send consumer goods from watches to dishwashers directly to their family and friends back home.
All eyes are on China’s Alibaba, the e-commerce behemoth, and its planned US listing – not least from neighbouring India.
Senior management at Snapdeal, the online marketplace backed by eBay, are watching the initial public offering (IPO) closely as they mull a similar listing themselves. Co-founder, Kunal Bahl, told beyondbrics that the company could launch an IPO in 18 to 24 months’ time.
From Uber to GrabTaxi, the leading car-for-hire apps are finally coming to Jakarta, where they will find congested roads and congested mobile bandwidth but also a large market of tech-savvy consumers.
Russia’s shoppers are buying more goods online than ever before. E-retail sales have grown at a rate of around 26 per cent a year and 57 per cent of non-grocery retail spending is now made online.
This may seem odd for a nation that prefers to pay in cash and doesn’t have a reliable postal service, both typically important for e-retail. Attitudes to other payment methods are changing, however, and some home grown businesses have adapted their approach to suit Russian preferences.
India’s Snapdeal, an online marketplace akin to EBay, is powering ahead, with sales growing five-fold between 2012 and 2013. But what is unusual is that it in a male-dominated society in which men hold the purse strings, it is women who are driving much of the growth.
Kunal Bahl, chief executive, says the company could realistically make sales of between $10bn and $20bn in the next five years. This compares to current annual sales of almost $1bn, according to Bahl.
Being recognised by Bollywood is often the ultimate accolade for anything in India – an issue, a person, a business. But the folks at India’s number one matrimonial website seem admirably unfazed by the imminent launch next year of a Bollywood romcom, ‘Running Shaadi.com‘.
By Chris Webster of eBay
Parul Arora always knew her mother had immaculate taste in jewellery – taste so good it appealed to both her younger friends and an older generation at the same time. Together with her mother, she decided to go into business and started selling locally-sourced, handmade jewellery on eBay from their home in New Delhi.
In doing so, Parul tapped into what is evolving to be one of the most virile online marketplaces in the world. The Indian retail environment is going from strength to strength, and not just for local businesses – this is a two-way virtual high street.
Chinese growth needs to come more from consumption than investment. However, Chinese consumption patterns will be nothing like what we’ve seen in developed countries. According to Gordon Orr, Asia Chairman at McKinsey, China will turn the consumption patterns known in the west upside down.
Internet, consumer goods and aspirational brands – they always crop up when folk in India discuss the growth of the economy. And a business that incorporates all three sounds like a recipe for success.
Myntra.com claims to be the largest online fashion store in India – by revenues, by customers and by daily traffic – with 30 per cent market share.
The king of online marketplaces is teaming up with local players as it looks to make headway in India’s unique and growing market.
On Tuesday, eBay said it was going into a commercial partnership with Snapdeal, an Indian online shopping platform set up in 2010, as well as investing in the company.
Ecommerce is booming in Russia as more people hook up to the internet. But a corresponding surge in parcel volumes is straining the the old fashioned postal services to the limit and last week cost the head of the Russian post office his job.