eCommerce Blog

eCommerce Blog – Opportunities in US and India (by Darpan Munjal)

Is Web 2.0 Overrated?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On December - 21 - 2007
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At least that’s what I felt after attending the Web innovation conference held in Bangalore this week. I don’t understand why folks spend so much time slicing and dicing what web 2.0 means. I could hear some people even talking about Web 3.0 – some of the gifted ones even offered a glimpse into Web 4.0!!  Now, come on! Isn’t that a bit too much? We are not talking about a software release which comes in different versions with a predefined set of features. We are talking about evolution of the internet economy here. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely think Web 2.0 is a beautiful thing and the power of communities has a huge potential for the new economy. But that’s exactly my point – people need to think about the applications of this concept, as opposed to getting hung up around the text book or Wikipedia definitions of Web 2.0. Ok, enough with my ranting – it wasn’t all that bad. There were some decent speakers as well – like Rohit from Techtribe who offered some good insights into the dynamics of online communities.

It would be great to see more businesses in India that are built around the power of online communities. A lot of people feel that online communities may not be a good fit for the Indian culture, but I strongly feel that the communities can be very successful if the right incentives are offered to them.  I am posting the slides that I used for my topic at the conference – “the future of eCommerce”. eCommerce is definitely an area
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The Perfect Storm

Posted by Darpan Munjal On August - 20 - 2007
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The online retail environment in India is eerily quiet. The overall online pie is still very small. Broadly speaking, Indian consumers aren’t shopping online. The distributors or local vendors still look at the online channel as a drop in the bucket. New online retailers are slowly emerging – however Indian ecommerce just can’t seem to hit its stride. What does this all mean? Is online retailing not for the Indian market? Are the cultural preferences of Indian customers so unique that ecommerce will never achieve a mainstream status? Although the current state paints a very somber image for eCommerce in India, it reminds me of the time when we went on a vacation to Florida, only to find out that the area was about to be hit by a category 3 hurricane. Standing in balcony of the hotel room, I could feel an uneasy quiet. Wind was calm however I could feel something big was about to happen. Two years later, I find myself standing on the verge of another perfect storm – a storm that will change the face of online shopping in India.

It is not a mystery anymore that the retail industry is going through a significant organization in India. Some would argue that this opens up more exciting options for consumers to shop in a physical store, which would further impact the adoption of online shopping in a negative way. Fair argument, however, I would like to share some specific reasons why I strongly believe that a reverse phenomenon is inevitable – organization in physical retail will fuel an explosive growth of online ecommerce in India.


Why has eCommerce adoption been slow in India?
Before we look at the factors that will drive an explosive growth in eCommerce, it is important to look at why eCommerce hasn’t taken off so far in India. Read the rest of this entry »

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