Category — Consumer Goods

Alibaba Invests $200 Million in India’s Paytm

Valuing India’s Paytm E-Commerce Private Limited at about $1 billion, China’s Alibaba Group Holding Limited, will invest $180-200 million in the online retailer, taking the stake of Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial to more than 50 percent.

Paytm e-Commerce is an entity created by Noida-based One97 Communications Ltd., which was valued at $5 billion last year, and e-commerce constitutes 20 percent of its business. Paytm will continue to be the vehicle for Alibaba’s e-commerce play in India, and is expected to spin off the e-commerce business into a new mobile application and a separate website in February, named PaytmMall—inspired by Alibaba’s T-mall in China, reports Mint.

Paytm ad

Paytm, which started operations as a mobile payments and mobile recharge business, created a web of payment solutions in the offline and online channels where consumers can transact via the Paytm wallet. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has India’s Central Bank’s approval to launch a payments bank by the end of February.




February 12, 2017   No Comments

Technology Reshapes Retailing in India

Growing at a CAGR of 13%, the Indian retail market is projected to double over the next four years to reach $1.08 trillion by 2020 from the current $585 billion, and the share of organized retail will increase from its current 7 percent to 24 percent. With retailers in India focused on delivering the right shopping experience, technology’s role as an enabler is becoming very significant.

Ashok Ghose, senior vice president of Tata Teleservices says: The coming year will see the consumerization of technology touch an all new level, with consumers not just in control of brands but also open to new paths of purchase. Indeed, the era of digital consumerism that unfurled earlier this year is now here to stay.

Ghose describes top technology trends that will reshape the retail landscape in this year:

Business Intelligence: Telecom operators are increasingly applying business intelligence for enhanced consumer satisfaction, revenue streams and cost savings, and with adequate support from business intelligence, these firms are able to further monetize the mountains of data that flow through their networks.


Smart shelves/Digital Signage: Smart shelves can automatically monitor inventory in stores, and the technology then notifies the manager when an SKU is about to go out of stock. Digital signage display ads and price changes to stores in real-time, which creates target sales for consumers

Retail Beacons: Retailers can use beacons to automatically send notifications and discounts directly to shoppers’ smartphones when they enter a store. In this manner, stores can push relevant information to its customers without resorting to too many text messages and app notifications.

Share of Screen:  Consumers are shopping across multiple platforms and devices, and brands need to continue to invest in implementing multi-channel loyalty strategies that deliver personalized and consistent experiences across them all.

Ghose adds that e-commerce is changing the face of Indian retail sector, and a growing number of consumers are flocking to online shopping alternatives. E-tailers are increasingly using social media in innovative ways to interact with their customers.


February 11, 2017   No Comments

Amway India Launches Cookware

Michigan-based Amway’s subsidiary Amway India launched its premium cookware ‘Amway Queen’ brand, in India, targeting $16 million in revenues from this new category of sales. The premium cookware segment in India is about $37 million and grows 35% annually.

Amway India CEO, Anshu Budhraja, quoted research that indicated a latent demand for premium cookware which enables low oil, low water cooking while ensuring taste, reports the Times of India.

Amway Queen Cookwarea

“We look upon Amway Queen as a key growth driver as it fits well with our direct selling model where the sale happens through the power of demonstration. Our target is to ensure that durables, as a category, contribute more than 10% of our turnover in the next three years,” added Budhraja.


February 10, 2017   No Comments

G-20 Seeks to Enhance Digital Trade in Member Countries

The G-20 forum has asked member countries to report on their readiness to engage in digital trade; it  also seeks suggestions from them on how the WTO can promote e-commerce and measure the digital economy.

“The German G-20 presidency aims to develop a conceptual framework for measuring cross-border digital trade,” the forum said. “In addition, the G-20 could explore the applicability of WTO rules for digital trade, including potential limits of and gaps within these rules, and assess its development dimension,” it added.


G-20 noted that the adoption of e-commerce is uneven (India does not allow foreign investment in business to consumer e-commerce retail), and it urged SMEs in developing countries and less developed economies to participate in online trade. India has reservations about e-commerce getting included in the WTO’s agenda. However, the Economic Times feels that the way forward for India is to have proactive norms in place, as also investor-friendly policy guidelines so that potential investors can actualize their e-commerce strategy

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Japanese Sportswear Brand Asics Expands Operations in India

Japanese sportswear brand Asics will begin to source in India so that it can apply for FDI and benefit from lower duties.

In a discussion with BusinessLine, Rajat Khurana, Director, Asics India, said, “While we are an imported brand, we should soon start with 10-15 per cent of local footwear production in the next two to three years. Applying for FDI requires us to have 30 per cent local sourcing and some of our competitors like Nike have already met these norms to start their own stores in the country. We have our subsidiary since 2015 and expect sales to triple by 2017 as the market is growing and we expect to get profitable with economies of scale.”

The company wants to change its position in India from a sportswear to a lifestyle brand. “India is changing and it is the lifestyle segment which is growing at nearly 20 per cent,” added Khurana. Currently, Asics has 14 monobrand stores and expects to add another 12 this year.

Asics Shoes

To build its brand in the country, Asics has taken up the role of official sponsor of the Mumbai Marathon for three years.


January 9, 2017   No Comments