Short Takes

Short Takes
Short Takes

Ecommerce is undergoing a boom in India and here we take a look at some of the major developments in the sector in the last few months. They are indicative of the pace at which this sector has taken a foot-hold within the broader Digital India mission. Amazon steps up pace in India

The world's largest online retailer, Amazon, has invested another $291 million in its Indian wing to step up its expansion in the market. The latest funds injection is the second made by the company in less than two months as Amazon India said it was “very pleased” with the growth momentum in India. Funds will be used to beef up services for Amazon′s merchants like warehousing, logistics and marketing. Amazon India is hoping to grab pole position in an industry expected to triple from $23 billion in 2016 to $68.8 billion by 2020, according to Goldman Sachs estimates. The company said that it has added over 55,000 products per day, grew its seller base by 250 per cent and expanded fulfilment infrastructure by 300 per cent in 2015. Lenskart raises $25mn from IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest equity of up to $25 million for a minority stake in Delhi-based Lenskart Solutions Private Limited. The World Bank arm's proposed investment came in as part of the company′s ongoing fundraising plan, with additional capital being provided by some of the existing and new investors. Lenskart plans to use IFC′s funding to expand its product distribution through its network of independent franchisee partners across India including into Tier 2/3 cities. It will also set up a manufacturing, processing and assembly facility with features like robotic manufacturing of lenses, cutting and fitting of prescription lenses for eyeglasses. Delhi-based Lenskart, through its independent franchisee partners, sells and delivers across 531 cities. The company is currently engaged in the assembly, wholesale distribution and supply of affordable eyewear products. Tata to tie up with Alibaba

Alibaba, Chinese ecommerce giant is looking to set shop in India in partnership with Tata Sons. Michael Evans, Alibaba Group president and K. Guru Gowrappan, global managing director, recently met Cyrus Mistry, chairman, Tata Group, to discuss a partnership to cater to the online retail market in India. At the meeting, both companies discussed and covered areas such as logistics, offline stores and Omni-channel to support Alibaba′s core e-commerce business. Evans had told reporters after meeting Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad: “We have been exploring very carefully the ecommerce opportunity in this country, which we think is very exciting against the backdrop of Digital India." Recently, Tata has been associated with several other consumer brands in the country. Starbucks also entered India through an alliance with Tata Global Beverages. This will add another leaf to Tata's international alliances.

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