The battle for the Indian consumer was never going to be an all-American affair. Two weeks back, India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said his company Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will roll out its e-commerce platform to as many as 1.2 million retailers and store owners in Gujarat, as part of a massive nationwide plan that analysts said could pose a challenge to Walmart controlled Flipkart and Amazon.
This is indeed very ambitious plan to take on Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart. The rules set up by the government last year are expected to affect the operations of both Amazon and Walmart, the biggest competitors as of now. They’re expected to benefit local enterprises such as Reliance.
Reliance on the other hand seems to be creating a different retail network which has the potential to change the structure and working of retail in a fast growing economy like India. Costs would go down dramatically, lesser inefficiencies in supply chain could be expected, and better delivery. One thing is certain that this will immensely benefit consumers.
Finally, Ambani’s ability to influence policies in his home market shouldn’t be underestimated. Just as Reliance gets ready to push ahead, the Indian government has tweaked its e-commerce rules and made them more troublesome for the likes of Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart. Bezos, then, faces a huge disadvantage against India’s richest man.