Its not that elections are happening for the first time in India. But, what’s new is the continuous twists and turns in the political corridors, since the formation of Arvind Kejriwal’s government in Delhi. Also, this time, 12 crore first time voters hold a key to disarray the entire political scenario of the country.
So, what impact these elections will have on various segments of internet ecosystem? How online portals are trying to cash on this political fever? What are the changes that people expect in different sectors from the upcoming ruling government?
Here are the views from various industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors:
Different eCommerce players are trying to woo their consumers in various ways. Phone covers, clocks, mugs, and even merchandize with personalized messages. Earlier, Snapdeal.com had exclusively launched the Smart NaMo Saffron phones on its site. Post this launch Snapdeal immediately snapped up 200 plus bookings. It has now moved on to selling merchandise like Aam Aadmi wall clocks, Ipad and Mobile covers among other things.
“This year the youth has stepped into the political movement unlike any other year & our large base of sellers too are enthusiastic in listing products that cater to the season,” said Tony Navin, VP- Business Development at Snapdeal.com.
Similarly Printvenue.in is working with one of the 2 largest parties for providing promotional items like t-shirts, mugs, cups etc. Tradus.com, had also sold ‘Aam Aadmi jhadoos’, following the AAP’s success in the Delhi Assembly elections.
“What’s different in 2014 elections is, that the fever is not limited to just the political class. Its also the common man who has very very strong feeling and is willing to buy stuff that can effectively communicate their preferences over another,” said Printvenue’s Co-founder and MD, Saurabh Kochhar.
With only few days left to elections, Printvenue is seeing massive sell in mobile covers with trends going in favour of Modi followed by AAP and Congress. In the month of March only, they have received around 3000 orders and expect this number to reach around 8000 by time elections get over. Also, there is a 20% hike in revenues for the company with the sale of political stuff.
Having said this, Saurabh added with a smirk, “Afterall, its the only time in 5 years where politicians are paying and others are earning.”
Job Market places
As per a snap poll conducted by HeadHonchos.com, a premier job search portal for mid management and senior professionals, 87% of professionals believe that the election scheduled this year will influence the job outlook.
*Based on a sample of 101 respondents
In last few years, online job marketplaces have seen a growth and are attracting professionals as well as freshers to a large extent. This indicates an opportunity for the upcoming online job marketplaces like TalentHunt.com, MeraJobIndia, etc to bring this niche into the mainstream.
The election and post-election phase has historically been a catalyst for the real estate sector. In views of Guruprasad Bangle, co-founder Properji.com, the whole idea of making this market online was to increase the transparency and make the sector organized. So innovative ideas to do this rather than just converting the existing offline business model into an online one will be a big differentiator.
However, E Jayashree Kurup, Content and Research Head, Magicbricks.com believes that with over 80% property searches done online, the ones who come up in searches early on in the consumer’s search cycle will benefit.
Adding his bit on impact of elections, Guruprasad said, “The entire market is expecting the real estate sector to bounce back after the elections. The online real estate players will see a lot of demand from the investor segment in the overseas market, esp. the NRIs from middle east and the UK market.”
Overall, with this election, most of the developers are waiting for a stable government with better understanding of the economic scenario and ability to boost the economy as a whole. Other than that there are a lot of investors who are currently fence sitting and waiting for the results of the election.
“Irrespective of who comes to power, there will be a shift in consumer sentiment. since developers have held prices for over a year and inputs costs have gone up significantly, there is expected to be an increase in prices,” said MagicBrick’s Jayashree.
As said by Prashant Tandon, MD & Co-founder, Healthkart.com, Healthcare is going to be a significant driver of both the social and economic development – and all parties, whether left leaning or right leaning, will have to develop this industry as a priority sector and dedicate investment & policy reform to this sector.
Also, internet & mobile technologies have immense potential to disrupt how healthcare is delivered – if these areas are given focus and the barriers streamlined, there is potential to create some very unique low cost and highly effective models of healthcare development.
“Strengthening internet & mobile technologies will help tackling the huge problem of insufficient doctors and healthcare providers to cater to the bulk of the country and this requires significant support from the government to enable large scale deployment and sustainable economic models to be created,” added Prashant.
Zachary Jones, Senior Vice President, Portea Medical share similar views as of Tandon. In his view, its time that The Indian Government should move from being a healthcare provider of last resort, supporting the care of the poor and civil servants, to being a true partner in improving the health of all of its citizens.
“The Indian political system is ripe for reform and whoever wins the elections will be forced to re-evaluate the government’s role in healthcare,” believes Zachary.
Also, Zachary expects government to properly incentivize public-private collaboration through the use of PPPs, innovation competitions, government-backed venture capital firms, and empowering the IRDA to make health insurance more business and patient friendly.
Investments are the key to growth for a company, no matter, at what stage it lies. So what impact will election have on this? Lets hear it from investors themselves!!
A lot of early stage funds and series A funds are waiting for the election results to start their fund raise. A stable and deserving government will attract funds for the ecosystem.
Post elections, tax rebates for for angel investors, Streamlining of company incorporation and Government support for entrepreneurship, are a few expected changes in the angel investment policies. Also, we can expect more IPO’s like Bharatmatrimony, iYogi, Quickheal and MobMe this year.
Suvir Sujan, Co-Founder & MD, Nexus Venture Partners
I don’t see any impact of the upcoming elections on the online startup investment ecosystem of India . Entrepreneurship will continue to flourish. Although, I do expect a friendlier tax treatment in the angel investment policies, post election.
(Image Source: Yourstory)
Anil Joshi, Former VP, Mumbai Angels
The early stage ecosystem has been growing and has seen many avenues building up for funding; like starting of new angel groups, formation of incubation and accelerators.
Post-election, if India gets stable government, which is more likely than one can expect more action in angel investment resulting in more investment than what we are witnessing now.
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