eBay India chief meets Commerce Minister

By: | Published: November 12, 2014 9:29 AM

Indian eCommerce sector has been growing at a very fast pace with players like Snapdeal and Flipkart raising over $4 billion from investors.

Ebay India Managing Director Latif Nathani today met Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss the prospects of the $3 billion burgeoning ecommerce industry in the country.

Nathani said eBay has 50,000 sellers on its platform, of which 15,000 sell across the globe.

“That is a huge opportunity with the government charter of ‘Make in India’ because these 15,000 sellers are mostly artisans, craftsman and they are exporting India’s products and India’s culture abroad,” he told reporters after the meeting.

He added: “This is closely aligned with the government’s plan of ‘Make in India’ and I think the Minister was very receptive to what we are doing and appreciative of that.”

It was an “introductory, courtesy meeting” with the minister, Nathani said, adding that eBay has been in India for nine years and “we are the largest market place in India, so wanted to talk with her about our history in India and about prospects of eCommerce”.

Asked if the issue of allowing FDI in online retail came up for discussion, he replied in the negative.

“We do not talk about that because eBay doesn’t get affected with the FDI policy,” he said.

Besides the growing base of sellers, the global marketplace major is also betting big on mobile technology to propel its growth in the country.

“We are looking at significant expansion. We are very bullish on mobile commerce. For example, we have come out with new products on mobile web and mobile app. Mobile is a big area for us,” he said.

A report by consulting firm Technopak estimates the USD 2.3 billion e-tailing market to reach USD 32 billion by 2020, driven by increasing Internet penetration. Other reports peg the current market to be closer to USD 3 billion.

The Indian eCommerce sector has been growing at a very fast pace with players like Snapdeal and Flipkart raising well over USD 4 billion from a range of investors including angel and private equity firms.

eBay itself is an investor in Snapdeal. The homegrown firm also follows the marketplace model and claims to have 50,000- plus merchants onboard.

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