The E-Commerce Council of India (TECI) announced on Monday that it had inducted nine new members, including B2B marketplace IndiaMart, online pharmacy 1mg, and Kisan Estore, which sells agricultural products and services. TECI was launched in March as a trade association for the e-commerce sector. Its founding members include Snapdeal, ShopClues, UrbanClap, Shop101, Flyrobe, and Fynd.
The other new members of TECI are:
- Mjunction, an e-marketplace for steel and coal
- Texfy, which connects retailers to manufacturers in the textile industry
- Trade India, a B2B marketplace
- Nandoo, a fitness and wellness app
- Connect India, which links rural India to urban India with logistics capability
- M2R Technomations, which automates electronic and electrical devices
Conspicuous by their absence are Amazon and Flipkart, which are by some distance the largest e-commerce platforms in India. This could be a sign that smaller players are consolidating under TECI not only to lobby the government on the draft e-commerce policy, but also to hedge against the influence — and deep pockets — of Amazon and Flipkart.
GOQii vs Flipkart
The growth of TECI comes at a time when fitness wearables’ maker GOQii is taking on Flipkart over deep discounting (up to 80%) of its products, in a case that could have ramifications for India’s e-commerce policy and FDI regulations. Vishal Gondal, founder of GOQii, tweeted recently that the Bombay Civil Court had given an ad-interim order barring sellers Retailnet, Tech-connect and Flipkart from selling GOQii products, and issued notices to Flipkart and its parent company Walmart. Read more about this here.
Amazon, Flipkart unlikely to participate in CCI study
The Competition Commission of India recently sent a set of 88 questions to all major e-commerce firms, seeking details about pricing strategies, product information and the identities of their biggest-selling vendors. These are all aspects that would challenge the claims by e-commerce marketplaces that they have no control over products and pricing. Amazon and Flipkart are unlikely to fully participate in the study for fear of revealing trade secrets, as per Reuters.