MediaNama had learned from reliable sources that MIH (Naspers) and Tencent owned company Ibibo is planning to venture into the e-commerce space, under the brand name Tradus. We were also told that Rahul Sethi, head of e-commerce for Web18, who was previously with FutureBazaar, EBay and Baazee is joining ibibo. Ashish Kashyap, CEO of ibibo, confirmed to MediaNama that they have plans to launch an e-commerce business, and that Sethi is coming on board to head the e-commerce business, but declined to share details of plans at this point in time. Kashyap himself used to head E-Commerce at Indiatimes, before he joined Google, following which he joined Ibibo as CEO.
We looked up Tradus.in, and the portal already appears to be operational. The logo, though, is different from an MIH owned international e-commerce business of the same name.
From what we’ve learned, the e-commerce business is going to be primarily business-to-consumers (b2c) and consumers-to-consumers (c2c) focused, and will allow ibibo to leverage its existing user base: it appears to be an attempt to take on Ebay India, rather than TradeIndia or Indiamart.
Tradus is a brand owned by Naspers, the parent company of MIH. It was acquired by Naspers in 2008, at a valuation of around GBP 946 million. Some details here. The company has operations in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Romania, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
E-commerce in India has been something of a problem child: while ticketing and books appear to do well (Indian Railways sells over $120 million in tickets every month), there are issues with delivery, quality of goods delivered, payment gateways, among other things. One part of the problem is the lack of scale, which makes warehousing unviable, and hence goods are sold by vendors through marketplaces. As an example, take a look at this account of issues faced while purchasing goods from Rediff Shopping; a recent experience I had with Rediff Shopping mirrors this, though I’m still in the process of getting my problem sorted out. Unfortunately, the poor experience and customer service makes us hesitant to use e-commerce for anything but tickets and books.