The founder of Future Group Kishore Biryani is looking forward to grab the opportunity to build an Indian Amazon or Alibaba. This has come up after the government has banned online marketplaces from selling products by companies in which they hold stakes and also curbed exclusive marketing arrangements that could influence product prices.
“It’s a game-changer for us. This is not really a policy but more of a clarification and every retailer will have to adhere to it. They can’t build brands now,” said Biyani.
Biyani, who’s never made a secret of his disdain for e-commerce rivals for their predatory pricing, said most online companies will have to contend with being just a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers through technology.
“There was no chance we could have discounted the products like online companies in a profitable manner. It was all driven by capital and balance sheet and not really by skills or business acumen. This will all stop now and many companies, including a lot of online groceries, will have to shut shop,” said Biyani.
The revised policy will be taken forward from February and is purely aimed at protecting the interests of domestic retailers, which have seen consumers move away due to the deep discounting strategy of online companies.
“Why should Indians rely on global e-commerce companies? If China can build a successful retail model, why should the Indians be left behind, given the talent in our country?” Biyani asked.
The new policy comes at a time when Amazon is in talks with Future Retail for a minority stake. However, Biyani said the new policy has far-reaching consequences and “several deals could get reversed overnight.” It’s early to comment on potential deals, said Biyani.