Combi flights dur­ing nights re­quired to tap e-com­merce mar­ket has more than 20,000,000 reg­is­tered users from 4,000+ cities and towns. Its On­line Mar­ket­place has more than 6,000 brands with 4,000,000 plus listed prod­ucts. Speak­ing to Car­gotalk, Sau­rabh Goyal, Lo­gis­tics and Sup­ply Chain Head, Snapdeal; h

Cargo Talk - - User’s Perspective - RATAN KR PAUL

S was started in Fe­bru­ary 2010 as a daily deals plat­form, but ex­panded in Septem­ber 2011 to be­come an e-com­merce com­pany via a mar­ket­place model. The com­pany was started by Ku­nal Bahl, a Whar­ton grad­u­ate and Ro­hit Bansal, an alum­nus of IIT Delhi in Fe­bru­ary 2010. With 20 mil­lion reg­is­tered users, Snapdeal is one of the first and largest on­line mar­ket­place in In­dia of­fer­ing an as­sort­ment of more than 4 mil­lion prod­ucts across di­verse cat­e­gories from over 20,000 sell­ers, ship­ping to 4,000 towns and cities in In­dia.

In June 2010, Snapdeal ac­quired Ban­ga­lore-based group buy­ing site, Grab­bon. com. In April 2012, Snapdeal ac­quired es­ports­, an on­line sports goods re­tailer based out of Delhi. In May 2013, Snapdeal ac­quired also, an on­line mar­ket­place for In­dian hand­i­craft prod­ucts.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, in the 3rd round of fund­ing of $50 mil­lion, eBay came out as the largest in­vestor in Snapdeal. The in­vest­ment also in­cludes a commercial part­ner­ship un­der which eBay will get ac­cess to Snapdeal’s 20 mil­lion reg­is­tered users, lo­gis­tics soft­ware and dis­tri­bu­tion net­work. Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment, Snapdeal will of­fer a limited num­ber of prod­ucts on eBay In­dia and eBay will list its mer­chan­dise on Snapdeal.

At present, 15-20 per cent of the sales on Snapdeal comes through m-com­merce. ex­pects its’ to­tal sale of prod­ucts to cross R2,000 crore in the 201314 fis­cal helped by its ro­bust growth.

Chal­lenges and So­lu­tions

How­ever, there are some chal­lenges re­lated to smooth flow of goods and in­ven­to­ries. “To meet the de­mand side, the sup­ply chain in­fra­struc­ture is not ready in our coun­try at present, though there are some ef­forts from var­i­ous com­pa­nies,” said Goyal. Ac­cord­ing to him, e-com­merce mar­ket is be­com­ing lu­cra­tive in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. How­ever, proper con­nec­tiv­ity and in­fra­struc­ture is not suit­able to meet the de­mand side. “The gap is mainly be­cause the sud­den spur of self-dis­tri­bu­tion model, be­cause of the rise of e-com­merce or m-com­merce,” ob­served Goyal.

Cur­rently, Snapdeal is util­is­ing third-party lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies for all of its con­sign­ment de­liv­ery. “The lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies in In­dia are un­able to deliver the re­quired ser­vices. This is hap­pen­ing mainly be­cause of two rea­sons: their in­ter­nal op­er­a­tional weak­nesses and govern­ment poli­cies, which are not in­dus­tryfriendly,” Goyal said. He pointed out that the de­liv­ery per­tain­ing to e-com­merce is al­ways ex­press mode. How­ever, the bot­tle­necks at the air­ports (viz, at the ter­mi­nals) and sur­face net­work (viz, at the check posts) is de­ter­ring the po­ten­tial growth of this emerg­ing sec­tor.

“To make the e-com­merce ven­ture a suc­cess, air con­nec­tiv­ity from met­ros to Tier-II and Tier-III towns should be suf­fi­cient and con­ve­nient for ship­ments. There should be more night flights with am­ple space for cargo,” said Goyal. Ac­cord­ing to him, as e-com­merce is grow­ing very fast, the pos­si­bil­i­ties of fly­ing more freighter flights are ripen­ing. “In the mean­time, air­lines can fol­low a prag­matic model of night flights com­bin­ing ad­e­quate cargo space and pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity and by of­fer­ing low fares for pas­sen­ger tick­ets.

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