Growth pangs in India’s e-commerce companies notwithstanding, the space is expected to create around 12 million jobs in the next 10 years, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai, citing an HSBC study. The report notes that although lagging China by seven years in terms of internet penetration and online purchases, e-commerce in India could experience a similar take-off. A young population, rapid smartphone adoption and a digital payments revolution could support the rise of e-commerce giants.
This in turn could help create 20 million ‘gross’ jobs across logistics and delivery (70%), and customer care, IT and management (30%). However, the growth of e-commerce could also lead to a loss of traditional brick and mortar jobs, which the study estimates could be close to 8 million.
Drawing parallels between India and China, the report underlines the role of the rural sector in the rise of e-commerce in India. India, it believes, could emulate China’s success with Taobao villages; these are essentially digital market places where villagers can set up ‘digital’ shops and India too could engage 5 million village merchants to create opportunities.
The benefits could range from access to larger markets and easing the pressure on crowded cities. One stumbling factor here could be the delays in creating digital infrastructure and connectivity, which are necessary for enabling e-commerce networks to spread. The study adds that government initiatives such as the ‘Make in India’ campaign could go a long way in creating a robust supply chain mechanism without which e-commerce would grow at the cost of rising external imbalances and macro instability.