Amazon and Flipkart have shared the e-commerce space for a long time now. All their work in India has been to increase their profits and work for themselves by shunning the opponent by one way or the other. Both the companies have been locking horns since Amazon India came into existence. There have been no second thoughts before countering each and every move of each other. This rivalry has benefitted the customers more than anyone else as there have been discounts of the highest order.
In spite of all that, the comparisons between both the companies have been over the top, to say the least. Amazon has a twice the products on offer but Flipkart has twice the reach. The companies cancel each other out on almost every aspect and this really means that no one is a winner. Even then there are new strategies all the time. It is a battle of two equally talented swordsmen fighting in some very comfortable yet challenging environment with a lot of protection. However, that protection has now been taken away by the higher authorities and now they have to fight for each other’s lives. This is where everything has changed. No one wants to kill anyone, so now they are going to fight the higher authority together. Only makes sense.
The government of India came up with a policy last year that will be applied from February 1 of this year. To sum up the policy, the government has said that e-commerce websites cannot give the aggressive discounts which shoot up to 40% or 50% or even more in some cases. The e-commerce players have to keep in touch with the offline retailers and offer a similar or less discount on that. The other thing is that companies which have given exclusive rights to e-commerce websites cannot do that anymore. They cannot sell more than 25% of their products through a single e-commerce platform. This has created a frenzy among the e-commerce competitors.
Their plans and their work of so many years has narrowed down to an absolute zero. The offline retailers who suffered since the online revolution are breathing a sigh of relief and there is a sense of celebration and justice among those. However, the e-commerce websites are not going to accept this and just work around it. There are plans being put in place by the two swordsmen. Amazon and Flipkart, out of their protective covers are now going to join hands and plan a coup against the government.
The e-commerce duo is going to fight the decision taken by the government. There is a sense of injustice among the newest couple on the block. It is felt by many that the e-commerce website is being singled out and being targeted for doing their job. The government was put under pressure to come up with a policy against e-commerce from Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and Swadeshi Jagran Manch. That said, the government is now going to be under pressure once again and this time they are going to face the might of Flipkart and Amazon along with their investors. The duo is going to launch their protest with the help of FICCI.
Investors like Softbank, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, and even Naspers are standing behind the duo fighting the government. It will very interesting to see how this pans out as these companies have a lot of money and with money comes the power of a different kind. The fight for the next couple of months is going to be a delight to watch for the neutrals.
– Unmesh Phule