The fledgling $10 billion ecommerce industry in India has been attracting big corporates like Reliance, Tata and lately broadcasting conglomerate NDTV. While most of these companies are looking to tap into growing domestic online shopping, NDTV plans to tap Indian diaspora (NRIs) through its subsidiary NDTV Worldwide Ltd.
The venture is expected to go live by August, and has a 25 member team working out of Gurgaon currently. The team is led by Fashionandyou co-founder Rahul Narvekar. “Until now we have not finalised the domain name for the venture but it will not have NDTV name or branding (in URL) for sure,” said Narvekar in an interview with NextBigWhat.
The group with $91 million revenue would leverage hybrid model of inventory as well as marketplace. “We will start with two categories – ethnic fashion for men and women including jewelry, handicrafts such as paintings and sculpture targeting the Indian diaspora and international customers,” added Narvekar.
At present, the global Indian ethnic fashion market is pegged at $2 billion. When asked about reasons for not targeting Indian shoppers, Narvekar said “ We are probably late for making entry in domestic ecommerce market as the space has been evolved with competition narrowing down between 2-3 players. At the same time none of the players has focus on sizeable opportunities lie outside the country”.
Recently Rocket Internet backed Jabong went global with Jabongworld. Times Internet’s Hutk, Utsav fashion and Cbazaar also target NRI segment. However, Navrekar argues that these companies are just extension of their domestic version and have no differentiators.
With its ecommerce arm, NDTV will target US, Europe, South Africa, and Australian market. The venture will offer pricing across currencies, and shoppers will be able to pay in British pounds, dollars, Euros or any other denominations.
Why target only NRIs?
Well the current etail market in India seems to be overcrowded with prominent players such as Flipkart, Jabong and Snapdeal fighting (burning $$s) to emerge as a leader in the space. Moreover, online shoppers in India have been pampered with discounts and freebies, so for NDTV – targeting global Indians diaspora make sense.
Logistics, which always has been challenge in domestic space, is far more matured in foreign countries, and unlike Indians, NRIs don’t change their decision post purchase, which essentially means less # of returns. In addition with site focused for global Indians NDTV will weed out Cash on Delivery (COD) pain, which presently drives significant (40-50%) of transaction in domestic market.