India recently imposed a record fine of Rs. 136 crore on Google for discriminatory search which was only a real small hit to Google. But the issue is much bigger for India and every other country (with the exception of USA as these companies are based there) who face serious threats from all the major technology companies – Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple.
1) Through our smartphones and our apps they seem to monitor all our citizens and even try to influence their social and political preferences,and they try to crush competitive businesses. The read our texts and emails and track our movements and habits, what we say and to who we talk to. Due to our searches they know our likes and dislikes. Even facial recognition is starting to learn more about us. All this data which tech companies consider so valuable is likely stored and analyzed overseas without our permission.
2) Indian regulators need to consider if these companies have become technology monopolies. These silicon valley tech moguls have admitted that they copy or steal from competitors, and if all else fails, they acquire them.
3) Look at Amazon – it is practically moving into all industries and destroying all competition – in India also, as is Uber doing..
India must learn from China – either we must restrict or shut these tech companies and allow our own startups to form, thrive and grow. Else, very soon we will be controlled by these non-India tech companies who want to be masters of the world or acting on behalf of their own governments.
- 14 Feb 2018
Indian startups or young companies including Ola, Flipkart and PayTm are in fight for their lives (with no end in sight) against well funded global competitors – Uber, Amazon, etc. Ola just got new funding commitment of over Rs. 7,000 crores and Flipkart got a few thousand and so did PayTm. While competition is good for us as consumers, we also want Indian companies to win the war and come out on top in India and then expand globally.
Also as consumers we are willing to give a little preference (but not too much) to an Indian owned company.
Finally, it the companies themselves that have to take risk, pursue innovation constantly, improve customer service, motive their workforce and get the best out of them, display great leadership, etc. etc.
Without a doubt, big challenges but also great opportunities!
Source: Hindustan Times
- 14 Oct 2017
Desecration of the Indian flag is a serious offence under Indian law. So what was Amazon thinking when their Canadian website was selling doormats of all things resembling the Indian flag. A website is unlike a physical store, so anyone has access to it. As news started circulating on social media, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sent this tweet, “Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately. If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official, and rescind Visas issued earlier.” In response, in really short time, Amazon complied fully. We can be pretty sure, this would not reoccur again also.
- 14 Jan 2017
Amazon, the US based eCommerce powerhouse has gained massive scale and share in only 3 years at the expense of Flipkart, Snapdeal and other smaller Indian eCommerce companies. Over one year ago, Amazon’s share by gross market value (gmv) was 15% while Flipkart’s share was around 45%, but in the most recent July quarter, Amazons’s share has grown to ~32% while Flipkart’s has fallen to ~40%. Not just that, Amazon carries 65 million products to Flipkart’s 45 million. Amazon has a strategy for vendors to export and buyers to import products (which could be in violation of government rules) and Flipkart has none. Amazon’s CEO said that “Amazon India has surpassed our most ambitious planned milestones.” Of course, almost all eCommerce companies are losing money so access to financial is needed, Indian companies are cash starved. So it is scary if Indian companies would lose leadership, domination and overtime name recognition in this growing segment to foreign companies.
- 21 Oct 2016
We are in the midst of the biggest festival season and shopping season. Consumers were waiting for the BIG sales and even BIGGER discounts. The “sales” which got started even earlier did NOT have the big discounts leaving consumers both anxious and disappointed. Looks like the only winners are the eCommerce companies which are talking about the lakhs of orders per day and per hour and from nearly 3,000 cites. Consumers are loudly complaining that the companies are only pursuing marketing gimmicks versus giving real discounts. Not surprising as all of them continue to record heavy losses as the industry continues to mature. So is it time that consumers also get smarter and shop selectively?
- 6 Oct 2016