At 148 years old, India’s salt-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group wants to get hip and cool. So, for its first big gamble on India’s booming e-commerce space, the group says it will only sell Camels—that’s short for “certified authentic merchandise everybody loves”—on its online shopping platform, Tata CLiQ.
“It is true that the online retail market is big and it can absorb multiple players, but it’s not infinite. It’s not like 10 players can succeed at the same time,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Futurist, Founder and CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a research and advisory group. “Large offline brands becoming bullish on the online space will have a massive impact on e-commerce in India,” he added.
“The companies that have entered the online retail market now are very big and some of them will definitely take the deep-discounting route, which will hurt incumbents immediately,” said Greyhound Research’s Gogia.
“The future of retail is probably in the multi-channel retail model where companies will need to have a presence in both online and offline space,” reckoned Gogia. “Now if that happens, the offline guys are positioned far better than the online ones because they already have stores, which is the more capital-intensive part of this model,” explained Gogia, “It will be extremely hard for the online guys to compete in that space.”