If there is anything that has grown in India by leaps and bounds in the last once decade, it is e-commerce. Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and now Alibaba have taken over the Indian retail market by storm. And, 2016-17 has been one decisive year for their fate. While India has become the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce market, right now, it is Amazon and Alibaba that constantly vie for the better share of the Indian retail market. Or is it?
This e-commerce battle is trickier and more deceptive than meets the eye, and what seems to be getting the better of them is a third rival – SoftBank, a Japanese investment and telecom giant.
The New Twist that E-Commerce Took with Demonetisation
Nothing seems quite the same after demonetization, not banking, at least. But, believe you me; even e-commerce companies like Amazon have been impacted by it.
You do know that Snapdeal did ultimately sell itself to Flipkart. But, what you didn’t know is that SoftBank was a vital part of it. With 30% share in Flipkart-Snapdeal, this investment giant is evidently sprawling its roots in India. So, does that make it big? Certainly not!
Nevertheless, what one may want to consider is that SoftBank is now supposedly eager to invest in Paytm – India’s biggest mobile wallet company, which is now headed towards full-fledged banking.
Reports have it that SoftBank is likely to invest around $1.5 billion, which amounts to a 20% share in Paytm. That will escalate Unicorn to $8 billion. What is interesting is that a 40% stake in Paytm is already owned by the Chinese giant Alibaba. Does that put enough twist in the plot now?
There is Just One More Twist
Alibaba itself is financially backed by SoftBank. Twisted enough?
Wait, there is more. With the great success of Paytm after demonetization in India, reports have it that Alibaba plans to increase its share in this mobile wallet to around 62%. So, with SoftBank coming is, Alibaba could face dilution right there.
And, It’s Not Over Just when You Thought It Was
Freecharge, the other popular mobile wallet operates under the aegis of Snapdeal, thus putting SoftBank in charge. So, if it merges Freecharge with Paytm, which is plans to, you know who wins. Sanpdeal , altogether, is also likely to merge with Paytm in due time.
So, where does that land Amazon ecommerce services? It does seem to taking over entertainment with Prime but is that enough? Not in a very comfortable position, I guess.