India is very different from Silicon Valley, especially when it comes to small players turning the tables on bigger ones (a story of Mint competing with Intuit can happen in Silicon Valley, but India will take its own sweet time).
While there are industries like Enterprise software where Industry veteran-run-startups have managed to create a global play, digital consumer industry has mostly been dominated by big companies leaving very little for new players to create a huge opportunity.
Look at the entire online classifieds market – how many startups come closer to leaders like Naukri, Shaadi/Bharatmatrimony etc. Most of the startups in online classified are not even second or third in these markets. In fact, there are very few examples of startups in consumer space where they have challenged the biggies (none in the online content part).
Maybe, except for few categories( *). And daily deals market is clearly one of those categories (am including group buying loosely as it fits the context).
There are close to 25+ startups in this space (some just for fun, others for real dough, few regional, very few national) and each one of them deserves a pat in the back for creating a category in the Indian Internet space. In fact, more than category, they have created awareness of the sales process in the offline FMCG world (read: Snapdeal Story).
Think of it as a template, which biggies like Rediff and Times Internet are now following. Right from website UI to the sales process, biggies are now following startups’ shoes and we certainly hope that there would be few respectable consolidation in this space.
Most importantly, this space has reached a certain momentum where biggies need this category to stay competitive, but frankly, this category doesn’t need biggies for growth purpose. Tons of startups together have grown this space and as I said earlier, they all deserve a pat in the back.
So kudos to deal startups for creating a category; and now that you have had a good practice match, get ready for some real action where big players like Rediff/Times Internet will play the margin cutter role.
What do you think will be the impact of Rediff/Indiatimes launch on these startups? Will there be consolidation in this space? Or these biggies cannot be considered a serious play at all (they have a herd mentality, after all and the whole story will fizzle out in the long run)?
What’s your opinion?
* Largely, ecommerce has been ignored by big players, including categories like bus booking etc.