Of India’s Changing Ecomm Landscape And Why Paytm Is Better Off Selling Its Marketplace

Now that every Indian ecommerce players have played their card, the biggies like Alibaba, raukaten are turning their focus on India (Alibaba is exploring partnership with Tatas, Rakuten too is planning to launch in India).

What about the Indian players?
Flipkart and others are still in a figuring out mode (okay, that’s over simplification). Both Flipkart and Snapdeal are figuring out the core and will start taking tough decisions in the coming weeks (translates to shutting down categories).

But, what about Paytm?

I think they are totally killing it.

With wallet.

With recharge.

But not with ecommerce marketplace.

I am not talking about GMV growth, but purely the product focus.

Paytm’s MOAT
Paytm is not really a master of logistics or even the marketplace business. Infact, not even close to that! Paytm is largely a technology (integration) play which has strong wallet penetration (+ bank license) to go for the kill.

Case in point : Marketplace without reviews? Do you know that there is no way you can review products on Paytm!! Yeah – you can review a seller but not a product ! So much so for marketplace philosophy!

In an ideal world, you can focus on every piece of the puzzle (and win the world). But in real world, it hardly works.

For Paytm, it’s clear that the wallet business is the NextBigWhat – and ecommerce marketplace, to me was more of an interim solution to keep the valuation flying.

And anyways, why focus on a smaller market (where everyone is bleeding) when you actually win the world (with wallet/bank)?

Why Paytm should sell off its marketplace?

Simply put. It’s not the focus area.

Paytm has very little skin in the game when it comes to marketplace business.

There are buyers who are willing to enter the Indian market and would be willing to buy Paytm’s marketplace business.

The more you delay, the more you expose your ‘lack of focus’ on the product!

As they say, #PaytmKaro.

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