Headline, July 05 2021/ ''' '' INDIA'S E-COMMERCE INSOUL '' '''


 INSOUL '' '''

ON THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY - Zilli and I, have spent more than 4 years researching the E-Commerce global operations on retail and consumer products. In a context, when everything gets owned by the students of the world.

Three basic, fundamental and very core questions were addressed. How to focus on the Students and how to ensure that the Ecosystem 2011's great benefit and service also trickles out to the entire world. And lastly, how to avoid online-market battles.

Just one example for now : ''India's foreign investment laws in retail don't make any sense today. The laws are protecting local big players in the name of protecting mom-and-pop stores.''

THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT ISN'T ALONE IN ITS CONCERN OVER Amazon's potentially dominant market power. Officials and lawmakers in the United States and Europe have taken an increasingly dim view of Amazon's ability to use its data to develop and sell its own products.

In 2018 the Indian government enacted a law that said foreign investment in e-commerce companies could work only as neutral marketplaces where independent sellers placed their products.

The government said the limits would protect small businesses by limiting the ability of platforms like Amazon to sell their own products. Strictly following the law would have meant, for instance, that Amazon could not sell its popular Echo device on its own service.

AMAZON AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES have found the e-commerce game increasingly difficult to play, however. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist government are whipping up sentiment against foreign forces as part of a campaign to develop homegrown players in manufacturing, the Internet and other industries.

BIG BAZAR is owned by an Indian company, the Future Group, which owns 1,500 supermarkets, snack shops and fashion outlets in 100 cities in India. That brick-and-mortar footprint makes it a prize for companies that, paradoxically, want a piece of India's fast growing technology and e-commerce market.

Those companies include Amazon, the American tech giant. It is betting big on India, where it already accounts for about one-third of e-commerce sales.

Amazon put down $200 million two years ago to get first dibs on buying the retail assets of the Future Group, and it structured the deal to avoid the Indian government's tightening limits on foreign investment in local businesses.

But that put Amazon in the way of Reliance Industries, one of the biggest and most powerful companies in India. It is controlled by Mukesh Ambani, a tycoon, whose holdings include telecommunications, energy and manufacturing. In August, Reliance shouldered aside Amazon and struck a deal to buy all the Future Group for $3.4 billion.

Amazon is trying to stop the deal through arbitration proceedings in Singapore. The fight has spilled over into India's courts, where Amazon has asked the Supreme Court to halt the deal until the Singapore arbitration is completed.

Though India's near-term prospects have been hit hard by a coronavirus second wave, the country promises huge growth potential once the pandemic ends. Its increasingly connected population and aspirational middle class remind many global businesses of China, which in a few years became the world's biggest internet market by population.

India's online market is expected to be worth $85.3 billion by 2024, according to Forrester Research. Facebook, Walmart and others have joined Amazon in investing heavily in the country.

Online groceries are a small but growing piece of the market. For now, Indians shop online primarily to buy fashion products and cellphones. But a chain of brick-and-mortar stores could be a valuable asset for conquering the online business, for many of the same reasons Amazon bought Whole Foods four years ago to build its grocery business in the United States.

Grocery stores can make handy distribution centers and bring both brand name recognition and long term relationships with suppliers.

''No one is fighting on a monthly or quarterly basis,'' said Satish Meena, an analyst with Forrester Research. ''This is a 10-15-year game.''

Indian officials have kept silent about Amazon's fight with Reliance, but they have pressured the American company on other fronts.

The Reserve Bank of India and the Enforcement Directorate, India's federal crime-fighting agency are investigating Amazon for suspected violations of India's foreign investment laws. Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart are also fighting a legal battle to stop the Competition Commission of India, the country's antitrust regulator, from pursuing a formal investigation into their sales practices.

In a statement, Amazon said that company officials ''take compliance with all applicable laws and policies seriously'' and that it was trying to protect its rights in trying to stop the Reliance-Future Group deal.

''We are disappointed by the motivated attempts to influence the F.D.I  policy with the view to create an unlevel playing field,'' the statement said, referring to India's restrictions on foreign direct investment.

The winner of the clash between Reliance and Amazon could have a big say in how e-commerce develops in India. E-commerce creates ecosystems for smaller start-ups working on payments, logistics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, said Arun Mohan Sukumar, an independent technology analyst. Government rules could shape that outcome.

''If a government decides to pick a winner in the e-commerce domain, the winner will end up picking the winners in multiple so-called sunrise sectors,'' Mr. Sukumar said.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on E-Commerce and Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Aman Sethi.

With respectful dedication to the Great People of India, Students, Professors and Teachers and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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