India is one of the largest consumer markets in the world and it is no surprise that not only this initiative between Facebook and Reliance but many more such initiatives will be seen in the near future as India is the world’s largest consumer market. However, the most important aspect is how best such initiatives comply with the rules and regulations applied to them.
eCommerce is a vibrant future model of business as a younger generation between the age of 18 to 40 years is the real consumer and showed a behavioral change in their purchases as these real consumers are more aligned to e commerce & digital payments. Therefore the CAIT has always welcome e-commerce but remains against the use of unethical business practices by any e-commerce entity. However, in the instant case, Facebook has been known to be violating domestic laws globally, therefore, the data already generated with Face book or its allied organization Whatsap should not be used for this new venture else it will be a backstabbing to the people of the Country. The existing users of both Facebook and WhatsApp were never known of their alignment with any Company and therefore the data accumulated with these Companies were provided to them on trust.
The only two expectations India and Indians would have about any new and large scale initiatives is that firstly, they should happen within the letter and spirit of India’s FDI norms and secondly, such initiatives and the capital infused, is used to develop the market and overall infrastructure in India rather than to merely rout competition and gain dominance. In data sharing etc.
The first kind is developmental and good for the nation and the value it creates, while the second is what has affected smaller businesses & India’s core strength of its diverse businesses. The good thing is, Indian consumers are getting wiser. As an example, during COVID 19 lockdown, they saw who kept their homes stocked and who sat silent. They have a clear sense of opportunists versus true business enablers. I expect, hereon, Indian consumers will likely support businesses and solutions that are working in their larger and longer term good. Afterall, consumer is king (Queen) and her voice is always the loudest.