E-commerce offers net opportunity for budding Indian entrepreneurs

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A video grab of popular TV programme titled 'Starting Now' shown on Economic Times (ET) channel. Photo - Arabian Gazette

The present Indian economy is offering a great opportunity to young entrepreneurs for boosting their business on a wider scale. Presently, there are millions of enthusiastic entrepreneurs who see a bright future ahead, and with growing e-commerce industry, the graph of profitability is rising at a faster pace.

Recently, a television programme called Super Angels aired on Indian channel ET Now, is looking to fund budding entrepreneurs. It also screened Indias love of starting new businesses.

Every week, participants appear on Super Angels to make start up pitches in front of a group of venture capitalists and are put to a viewers’ vote. This show has gone to a wider extent and young entrepreneurs are looking forward to get their hands on it.

Fetise.com, an online retail store did manage to secure a whooping $5 million of seed funding from angels. The owner of the online retail website was thrilled with the concept of the show and saw it as a stepping stone.

It is a superb platform for start-ups to make pitches to angel investors or venture capital investors. You get the chance to showcase your business plan, influence the investors along with national audience,Abhishek Shah, founder and chief executive of Fetise.com, said.

The liberalisation of economy in 1991 and IT sector’s boom in mid 90s has helped many budding entrepreneurs to show their skills to a wider market. According to the VCCE report, many entrepreneurs have invested in e-commerce in last year.The report also says that venture capital investment in India has reached $822 million with 144 deals, compared to $641 million with 128 deals a year ago.

This is the best time to be an entrepreneur in India,” Nishant Verman, an associate at Cannan Partners – a venture capital company in Gurgaon, insisted. He also added that between incubators, angels and seed investors, there is a significant funding and support available for start-ups today. “Also, the online infrastructure continues to mature. Which is making it feasible to scale up good business.

There are those who are heavily into e-commerce, and then there are those who are just dabbling into it. And finally those staying on the sidelines waiting to see what happens once the frothiness has died down a bit,Mohanjit Jolly, MD at Draper Fisher Jurvetson India, said in an interview.

OPTING FOR E-COMMERCE

Many Indian retailers are establishing their business by using e-commerce help, and the main reason is the middle class consumers which has turned to internet for shopping.

Offering various discounts and free shipping facilities is the major attraction for people turning towards online shopping. Many budding entrepreneurs are now at looking e-commerce as a hot favourite for coming years and are confidently investing in e-commerce business.

Indian shoppers today are enabled with smartphones and tablets that help them in seeing local deals on various websites while they are on the run,Nalin Khanna, president for consultancy firm Vertebrand, said.

She also added that there is a growing trend of having digital stores where websites are designed to give the look and feel of an actual retail store. “The usage of smartphones grows and consumers become more aware of online payment methods and the deal available at their convenience, this industry will grow.

With more and more people going for online shopping, budding entrepreneurs are also looking forward to invest in e-commerce business.

GROWING E-COMMERCE INVESTMENT

There is an increasing trend towards e-commercein India and many established companies are heavily investing in the industry. According to Forbes report, Sequoia Capital invested $23 million in two e-commerce deals last year.

Till now the company has funded 75 businesses in India for their growth right from its seeds. Shailender Singh, managing director Sequoia Capital, looks at the scalability and success of Indian business from investors’ point of interest.

According to Singh, Chinese e-commerce is very well designed and has been successful so far. But he points out that many Indian e-commerce entrepreneurs are trying to replicate US and Chinese online retail businesses which is of no good.

The major e-commerce activity in China is in the marketplace model. The success of Chinese e-commerce is the different nature of companies adapting what works and scaling innovations. You should adapt to India, the consultant said who also advises young Indian entrepreneurs.

Presently there are more and more companies which are investing in Indian e-commerce and entrepreneurs are looking at this investment as a key to bright future.

Sources; The National, yourstory.in

(Written by Pratish Amin; Edited by Moign Khawaja)

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