In proposing to tighten the rules around e-commerce, India is both offering respite and ruffling feathers in equal measure.
The draft e-commerce policy released by the Modi government on Feb. 23 is poised to shake up the country’s nearly $40 billion (around Rs2.8 lakh crore) online retail industry, opening the doors to data-sharing among players as well as clamping down on the proliferation of fake goods.
Some of the measures, such as asking the big players to share their data with the smaller ones and fighting counterfeit products require huge investments, but experts think it’s about time the firms cooperate with the government’s asks. “E-commerce marketplaces cannot and should not get away with saying they are just marketplaces. The food-delivery ecosystem has delisted a lot of restaurants that didn’t comply with food standards in India,” said Yugal Joshi, vice-president at Texas-based consulting firm Everest Group. “This e-commerce expectation is a parallel to the food-delivery industry and in the right direction.”