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E-commerce firms in India form their own lobby group

March 14, 2019 19:15 IST

The founding members of The E-Commerce Council of India include Snapdeal, ShopClues, UrbanClap, Shop101, Flyrobe and Fynd, among others.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Hit by the changing government decisions and wary of the upcoming e-commerce policy, a number of online marketplace and digital commerce companies have form­ed their own trade association under the name The E-Commerce Council of India (TECI).

 

Till now, smaller ecommerce firms such as Snap­deal and ShopClues, who have been mainly agai­nst Amazon and Flipkart over alleged policy advantages, have joined the association.

The founding members of TECI include Snapdeal, ShopClues, UrbanClap, Shop101, Flyrobe and Fynd, among others.

“The e-commerce sector in India is an increasingly important part of the economy, unlocking tremendous value for buyers and sellers.

"TECI is an important industry initiative to work collaboratively amid ourselves and with the policy makers to help the sector develop to its full potential and in a way that creates lasting benefits for India,” said Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder, Snap­deal.

TECI members account for more than 750,000 online sellers and service providers.

Every month, more than 100 million users interact with the online businesses operated by members of TECI.

The association said over 30 global and domestic institutional ­ors have invested more than $2.25 billion in the enterprises founded by TECI members.

“TECI will also provide a neutral and objective platform for discussion and debate on non-competitive issues related to the development of the ecommerce sector in India.

"It also expects to articulate the voice of the sector.

"It will work in collaboration with trade bodies in India and outside to further the objectives of the association,” TECI said.

In the past, ecommerce players, including Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal have all reached out to industry bodies like FICCI and CII to put forth their concerns on matters of government policies.

However, this has not helped them much in the past.

Hit by the latest changes in FDI rules on e-commerce, companies such as Walmart and Amazon are also planning to pitch their Indian seller platforms against the domestic lobby groups such as the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), it is learnt.

Since CAIT and SJM have been pushing the government for an e-commerce policy that keeps in mind the interests of traders, the foreign majors are trying to get their sellers together and put forth their demand.

Since the two biggest e-commerce companies have been adversely affected by the new conditions in Press Note 2, they are arming themselves with a parallel lobby group, represented by sellers ahead of a proposed e-commerce policy.

Karan Choudhury in New Delhi
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