The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) today reiterated that 70 million small and medium retailers of India are more than capable of competing with any global E-commerce giant or any multinational retail chain as long as the laws of the land are followed in letter and spirit both and there is an equal level playing field. If these global giants follow Indian laws in letter and spirit they will not be able to offer products cheaper than offline retailers.
The CAIT is on a mission to create a pan India e-commerce platform that will be truly Indian and strictly of the traders, by the traders and for the traders & consumers of India having an equal opportunity to every offline trader to make best use of digitalization duly embedded with digital payments. The portal will be primarily given end to end solutions from Manufacturer to last-mile consumers having multiple partners of repute of their own field.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that the traders of India understand very well that digitisation is the need of the hour and E-commerce is a robust mechanism to reach the final consumer in today’s time. However, some International Ecommerce giants have totally vitiated the Indian market by adopting various unfair and predatory business practices. These companies sitting with billions of Dollars cheaply available at near about zero interest rates, have tried to to take undue advantage of the huge potential India offers. Since they have been shown the door in offline multi- brand retail, they thought E commerce will be an indirect way to capture Indian retail market.
Both leaders said that these E commerce giants have completely circumvented the Govt’s FDI norms. Instead of operating as a pure marketplace ( connecting seller with buyer) which is allowed in India, they have resorted to controlling inventory which is sold on their platforms. They are themselves deciding the prices, burning cash to offer deep discounts to customers, registered their own preferred sellers by discriminating against smaller sellers. They are selling their own brands too. All these malpractices are against the letter and spirit of the Indian laws for E-commerce Marketplace as well as being anti- competitive. The loss arising out of these cash burning models is then being funded through FDI from abroad. These are predatory business techniques and the only motto of these companies is to eliminate the small and medium retailers of India. In such a scenario how is it possible for a small retailer to compete who barely has access to formal finance in India.
Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal further added that the CAIT is trying their best to ensure a fair and non- discriminatory E commerce Policy. The Commerce Ministry is working on the Ecommerce policy in consultation with all stakeholders. Once the policy is enforced in letter and spirit.