DTDC_shopCourier and logistics company DTDC has launched an e-commerce site with a focus on Indians who want to send gifts to relatives abroad. The marketplace was launched just ahead of Diwali and currently sells clothes, sweets, bags and accessories. They had even launched a Diwali special offer to send Diwali packs to US at a rate of Rs 399 per kg for items booked through the site.

Earlier this year, DTDC had launched DotZot, to offer logistic solutions for e-commerce retailers. DTDC reportedly enjoys 14-15% market share in the domestic courier market, which is dominated by the Bluedart-DHL combine. To strengthen its position, it had bought 70% stake in Bangalore-based logistics firm Nikkos earlier this year for Rs 1 crore.

The launch of this maretplace though might affect its relationship with the bigger e-commerce players — the same group DotZot is targeted at. DTDC seems to be following in the footsteps of Gati, which had also launched an e-commerce website. However, it might not be such an issue if DTDC is targeting only niche crowds that want to gift sweets and other bulk orders that might not make financial sense for existing e-commerce players.

Pricing and target market

Companies that are selling their wares via DTDC’s marketplace include WhiteKalia, Nord51Ghasitaram, MyChocolateMaker, Blessingz among others. The strange part is that some of these products cost more on DTDC’s site like this Bazinga tshirt, that costs Rs 549 at DTDC, while it comes to only Rs 449 on WhiteKalia’s store. Then there is the Diwali Pooja Kit that costs Rs 677 at DTDC, while costs Rs 599 at SnapDeal.

DTDC might be playing their international delivery card, which most Indian e-commerce site are not looking into. However, if it finds any success with that venture it’ll only be a matter of time before other take a jab at that segment.

Global ambitions

French courier company GeoPost had acquired 42% stake in DTDC from Reliance Capital earlier this year. The company has been vocal about its global plans and wanted to increase its international revenues by 18% in two years. DTDC had also acquired a majority stake in Dubai-based Eurostar Express, which will help the company expand presence in West Asia and North Africa.

DTDC has a direct presence in USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Singapore, China and Australia, and operates in Kenya, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh through its partners or associates. Due to these acquisitions and tie-ups, DTDC claims it will be able to deliver products to Dubai, Singapore and USA in 4 working days days. DTDC Director Abhishek Chakraborty had said earlier that the company has been growing at a rate of 35% over the last three years.