As different companies in different parts of the world behave differently, ‘globalisation’ has become merely an irony, today. As companies like Amazon, Google and Apple keep making ambitious growth in many parts of the world, China has a different policy towards it. While in China, their top online companies are Alibaba, Baidu and Didi, in an open economy like India we still have Amazon, Google and Uber. Due to this, Indian startup founders have been aggressive towards their stance against foreign-origin companies making inroads to India. Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal and Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal, both blue-eyed boys of Indian startup environment, spoke at an event in Bengaluru on December 7 and targetted Uber and Amazon indirectly by saying that Indian companies lack a level playing field. Meanwhile, as a new low for Indian online companies, Morgan Stanley mutual fund was recently reported to have made a 38 percent slash in its Flipkart shares (from $15 billion to $ 5.5 billion) which was its fourth continuous markdown.
According to some business dailies, both Bansal and Aggarwal, while speaking at the Carnegie India’s Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru took up the cause of Indian companies and talked about the need for policies directed towards domestic businesses. They pointed out that Ola and Flipkart have a bigger market share than Uber and Amazon but the heavy capital infusion by the foreign company is not fair to them. They reportedly said that outside India companies have a level playing field and it is easier for them to raise investments. They said it is not just about innovation, but also about irrational capital and suggested that there is a dire need of the government taking steps to protect Indian companies. Meanwhile, people on Twitter did not seem too happy with such a suggestion. From pointing out that Flipkart is a Singapore-based company and Japan’s SoftBank has a major share in Ola, the Twiterrati even went on to mock Flipkart and Ola for not being able to stand up to the competition. Here are some of the tweets:
Disappointed with Flipkart and Ola statements. I thought we’d left the victim card with Bombay Club in the 90s but wow these guys. Sad.
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— Anupam Gupta (@b50) December 8, 2016
All those espousing nationalism like Ola and Flipkart are nothing but disguised foreign funds operated companies
— Sunil Arora (@moneybloke) December 8, 2016
Innovators turning rent-seekers.
Flipkart and Ola proving they were not Innovators! But, . . . ‘copy cats’? https://t.co/4AHqrTxtbD
— Suvikas (@suvikas) December 8, 2016
Hey, Flipkart and Ola – how about this, aspire to build a global company instead of cowering from one.
How does one look up to THIS?!
— Abhishek Agarwal (@abhishekaggy) December 8, 2016
Nothing about Flipkart or Ola is Indian except for the promoters and their mindset.
— Harshit Gupta (@hkrgupta) December 8, 2016
— Roshan Negi (@makerofdestiny) December 8, 2016
Flipkart &Ola run to Mama ( Govt) for protection from Amazon & Uber. U got rich with Capitalist money. Winner takes It All is The rule here.
— P.N.VIJAY (@pnvijay) December 8, 2016
#flipkart#ola want protection!!! it’s all about#capital & not #innovation. True. as they are copies of their current competitors
— iamglobe (@iamglobe) December 8, 2016
ha capitalism. Ola and Flipkart want a govt subsidy, great idea. I am also launching a Gifting scheme….paid by the govt.
— Subramanyam PV (@pvsubramanyam) December 8, 2016
All these arguments from both the sides put up an ambiguous picture about the issue and definitely have more facets to it. While it is true that Indian startups want a fairer system and policies and a bit of an advantage, but at the same time, they want investments from other countries. It is not easy to have the cake and eat it too. At the end of the day if you create a great innovative product it is bound to generate interest and eventually sales.