Daily US Times, Mumbai: As Amazon and Flipcart are spending billions to secure their position in the massive Indian market, the two companies have stumbled upon a new challenge: Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man.
Mr. Ambani’s Reliance Industries said it has been inviting people to sign up for its grocery delivery service JioMart.
The new e-commerce venture puts a huge threat to the existing companies surfing in the country.
Reliance is aiming to use its massive mobile phone customer base as a springboard for the business.
Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio, two subsidiaries of Ambani’s Reliance Industries, said they have soft-launched JioMart. Unlike its rivals, the e-commerce venture will connect neighborhood stores via an app rather than providing and delivering the goods itself.
JioMart also offers 50,00 of grocery goods to be delivered for free.
Indian online grocery market is currently worth about $870 million a year with just 0.15% of the population using such services, but analysts predict that it would be $14.5 billion industry by the year 2023.
Walmart owned Flipkart and Amazon are currently dominating India’s e-commerce market. They both saw a setback last year when the Indian government introduced new laws that restrict foreign-owned online retailers from selling goods from their own subsidiaries.
The law allows Indian companies to take over their foreign rivals.
Reliance Retail was founded in 2006 and it is the largest retailer in the country by revenue. The service is available to 6,500 Indian cities and towns. It serves more than 3.5 million customers each week through its nearly 10,000 physical stores in these towns.