Opportunity knocks for e-commerce in India

India Dispatch: Neetu Bhatia, the co-founder and chief executive of KyaZoonga, talks about the e-commerce industry.

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Neetu Bhatia is the co-founder and chief executive of KyaZoonga, an entertainment and sports ticketing website in India. Here, she talks about the e-commerce industry.

What are the factors driving the online retail sector in India?

You have multiple things that are happening in India all at once. You've got the broadband penetration that's slowly but steadily increasing and people are accessing the internet either via the PC or the mobile as well.

What else is shaping the trends?

Shopping in general has not been a great experience altogether. When you go out to shop, the brick and mortar experience is rather a challenging one, both from an infrastructure perspective as well as how the stores are laid out. As the Indian population gets more and more time poor and cash rich that becomes a challenge so they automatically gravitate towards online.

What are the challenges?

The Indian customer is suspicious by nature, so whether their buying history is long enough to ensure that they are comfortable with the vendors is another challenge. Speeds are still something that you need to grapple with, so bandwidth and broadband constraints still exist as far as India is concerned.

Why do you think some players have not been successful in the online retail space?

You've got the distribution, the logistics and all of that. Unless you have that entire game plan figured out - your customer service, fulfilment, where are you sourcing the goods from, making sure you can ship these things in time to the customer. We are talking about price sensitivity, but I also feel this is a market that will be willing to pay for a value-added service. If you're able to provide that, then it doesn't have to be differentiation just on price - you can differentiate yourself on factors such as customer service. Companies that may have come and failed, I think they either didn't have their capital strategy right or they didn't have their operational strategy right or both.