With mobile being considered as the driver of online commerce in India, and Global Mobile Internet Conference just around the corner, iamWire caught up with GSF Accelerator’s Founder Rajesh Sawhney, to hear from him where is mobile commerce in India headed. Below are the excerpts of the conversation.
Where is the evidence currently that m-commerce is growing bigger than online commerce in the country?
Most of the people in India have mobile phones, and they are going to buy on mobile. All the e-commerce players, like Flipkart, Snapdeal etc., who were promoting their websites until last year, are now advertising their mobile apps to the consumers. And commerce on mobile is going to grow 10 folds in the coming 4 months and that is what these companies are aiming at as well. There is a lot of emphasis by them on getting their mobile apps right.
Additionally, there is an emergence of new players in the market who are coming with Mobile First business models. There are two types of such players, those who are bringing the services online and others who are focussed on verticals.
For instance, Timesaverz is a Mumbai based startup, which has created an Uber like service for various home services like cleaning, repairs, handyman jobs etc. The team has created an app for housewives who require assistance with household chores. It curates verified agents for different tasks, and has created a process so that one can easily book, coordinate and pay the hired person. And it is this Uberization like this which will drive growth.
What is promoting this growth?
There are two technologies which will fuel m-commerce, mobile and Uberization of services. Uberization stands for innovation in mobile commerce. There is a startup in Pune called Autowale, what Uber has done for cabs globally, they are doing the same for autos in India. One can book an auto using a mobile app which has features like those in a cab booking app.
Smart upcoming niche players like these and the already established biggies, who are actively pushing business on mobile, are adding to the growth of m-commerce in India.
In your opinion has Mobile made India Global?
India has always been global unlike countries like China. It has been using the same Facebook, Youtube and such services like rest of the world. However what is needed now are consumer-focussed mobile startups from India that can grow global.
We currently do have Indian mobile focussed companies like InMobi and Freshdesk which have a global footprint, but they are B2B. Zomato is a good example of a B2C Indian company that has gone global. Even though it has a website, it is more mobile oriented. There is a need for more such startups.
Does GSF have such startups in its portfolio?
Well yes, earlier mentioned Timesaverz is one. Then there is POKKT, which caters to both B2B and B2C segments and recently raised Series A funding of USD 2.5 million led by JAFCO Asia, it is expanding to Asian markets. Another one is Gigstart, which is an online marketplace for performing artists and has plans to grow global soon.
Catch Rajesh Sawhney in person in the session ‘Fireside Chat: India – The New Pioneer in M-commerce’, at GMIC 2014 Bangalore.
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