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Chat Transcript

Jappreet Sethi

Co-Founder and Head of Marketing , YoStartups.com

Platform & Aggregators in India- Where are we heading?


Questions Answered


guest: Do you think marketplace model works in India?

Jappreet Sethi: In my view, marketplace model is best suited for India because of the presence of so many small businesses in the country. For one, it does not steal the trade opportunities of small businesses in India. This is crucial for a country like ours. Also, the marketplace model has advantages like better inventory management and larger inventory. Also, the marketplace model is a very lean way of conducting business as the operational costs are much lower than an inventory based model.

guest: Who according to you are the best government platform & aggregators available in India for my small business

Jappreet Sethi: On the government front, I don`t belive the Indian government has famous platforms or aggregators apart from IRCTC which is running an e-commerce platform. So, yes, that could be the best government run platform for your small business if you are in the business of selling consumer goods. There is a new platform for startups being developed as a part of the Startup India program for listing recognized facilitators for helping startups. Check this site http://startupindia.gov.in/

desperado1988: With the big players already fighting for the market share in the Indian Market, how easy or difficult is to consolidate ones` position?

Jappreet Sethi: I think if one wants to setup an e-commerce store/website in India today, the biggest challenge that it would face is the competition. Companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon, have become colossal and can kill competition quickly. Having said that, I think there could be space for niche e-commerce websites in India. I think because of that reason companies like Myntra and Jabong could do what they have done when it comes to fashion and pepppertap, and urban ladder could do in furniture. If you could find a niche space, I think there are enormous opportunities in India. I am yet to see a service industry based e-commerce website do well in India considering we are a service providing nation. So, there may well be an opportunity for you there.

guest: As the topic suggest, what do you mean by the term Platform & Aggregators?

Jappreet Sethi: It`s a very broad question. When we use terms `platform and aggregators` we mean online companies which have provided an online platform for small and medium-sized retailers to use the platform to sell their products and services. Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon are prime examples of a platform. Examples of aggregators are OLA and Uber in India.

guest: What is the biggest challenge for setting up an E-commerce store in India

Jappreet Sethi: The biggest challenge is to identify and build a niche category that can help you scale without attracting big dollars from biggies to kill you.

ankit-1111: What strategy would you suggest for a bootstrapped startup to better some traction in this sector so as to grow enough to get to funding round?

Jappreet Sethi: Firstly one need to find a niche segment. Secondly, the startup should invest its resources to create an inventory of articles, FAQs and other relevant content on the chosen segment. Content marketing is something hard to build and consolidate, but it is most efficient and cost effective medium to maintain your brand.

guest: There’s a lot of news buzzing about GST these days, what will the effect of GST on small entrepreneurs/ startups like us

Jappreet Sethi: This is a very good move by the government, it will make work and taxation easier for smaller players. Because of simplified tax regime, you will have more time on hand to focus on customers and building your brand.

guest: According to you what are the challenges startups are still facing even after improved services from the government

Jappreet Sethi: In India, early stage financing is still a big challenge. The Government has done a lot in this space by setting up funds of funds and other schemes to promote early stage capital. The capital is getting easier to get if you are building a tech and patentable hardware product, for services the appetite is still low. On the other hand, don`t start a startup if you cannot sustain it for two years without funding, entrepreneurs are not being realistic when they believe that they will raise funds in 6 months. Funding takes time and most of the times the cycle is 9 - 12 months.

guest: Want to start my own small business in Surat... Pls guide how YoStartup will help me..

Jappreet Sethi: Please do check out our services on our website and we will be more than happy to help after you have selected the scope of services.

aditdua: Are we going to see next Flipkart or Snapdeal in Indian Ecommerce market?

Jappreet Sethi: You never know, Google was the last search engine. India and China are known for springing surprises. Both these companies have set up the market and mindset, someone can now come in and build up on that. Amazon just did that.

guest: Does government allow FDI in startups? If not so what do you think, will the government take this step? And will this benefit the startups?

Jappreet Sethi: FDI policy of the government of India is not centered around startups or bigger businesses. India`s policy provides a negative list of sectors. FDI in companies in India is open apart from certain sectors which are prohibited and certain sectors where it is conditional. Startups in sectors allowed to receive FDI are already receiving foreign investment.
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