Chasing Buyers, Not the Value of Goods Sold: Bahl
Snapdeal boss says etailer will now focus on onboarding and retaining quality users
New Delhi: Snapdeal will no longer rely on Gross Merchandise Value — a proxy for sales — as its metric of choice, its chief executive officer said, as the company reorients its strategy for a time when the money from investors used to drive up GMV is proving hard to come by.
Instead, Kunal Bahl said, Snapdeal will aim to add and retain high-quality users, defined as frequent shoppers purchasing high-margin products. Bahl, who famously declared that his company would dethrone Flipkart by GMV in fiscal 2016, is now saying that his new goal is to grow the number of daily users on his marketplace 20-fold in five years.
“We believe that GMV (the value of goods sold) is an important metric. But it’s an outcome metric. It’s not what you chase as a company,” Bahl told ET. “GMV by itself is not necessarily a good metric that demonstrates anything else outside the value of goods transacted.”
Bahl’s shift in priority comes at a time India’s ecommerce industry is seeing a marked slowdown in GMV. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME AN INDIAN ECOMMERCE MAJOR HAS MADE THIS SHIFT
GMV, typically, has been the primary barometer used by the industry and investors to determine the health of ecommerce companies globally
Indian ecommerce’s annualised GMV run-rate plunged to about $15 b in March from about $20 b in Oct
Tyagi did not depose before the Italian court and is currently facing investigation at home by both the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
On April 8, the Milan Court of Appeals — equivalent to an Indian high court — had ruled that the Rs 3,565-crore AgustaWestland contract involved payoffs to Indian officials. Overturning a lower court judgement that said corruption could not be proved, the court of appeals found Giuseppe Orsi, the powerful former chief of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini — who headed chopper division AgustaWestland — guilty of international corruption and money laundering.
In its detailed order, the Italian court said payments in cash as well as through wire transfers were made to the Tya- gi family — three of the former air chief ’s cousins — and a part of them were destined for the officer himself. Tyagi was IAF chief in 2005-07, when the VVIP chopper deal was being processed by air headquarters.
Relying on tapped conversations that involved the alleged middlemen for the deal — Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa — the court of appeals ruled that there were attempts to hide the Tyagi connection and even destruction of potential evidence by the duo.
“From the analysed conversations we can get unequivocal indications about the corruption of an Indian public officer, identified as the cousin of the Tyagi brothers. In this regard, the explicit content of the dialogue is sufficient to establish the ‘reasonable belief that corruption took place’,” the court order said.
Besides relying on a Comptroller & Auditor General report that detailed the VVIP chopper deal and showed that deviations were facilitated by Indian officials in favour of AgustaWestland, the Italian court referred to conversations between Haschke and Gerosa in March 2012 in the former’s car on payments sent to Mauritius and “cash payments in favour of the Indians”.
On one key allegation that was initially raised by the prosecutors — that Tyagi helped change the flight ceiling specifications to favour Agusta — the court said there was no proof that the move was against public interest.
However, the court has ruled that “his behaviour remains illegal because he made himself available to collaborate with AgustaWestland for a financial operation and because he received large amounts in relation to his institutional role and as he also helped (Agusta) during the RFQ/RFP (tenders) formulation so that the company could participate and win”.