The e-commerce bubble coming to an end in India is actually great news!
Most of this month, the media has been abuzz with gloomy stories about how e-commerce companies are ‘getting consolidated’, shuttering, cost-cutting and so on; I think what is happening now is absolutely fantastic for India’s e-commerce Industry in the long term.
I have no idea how e-commerce entrepreneurs were able to convince venture capitalists to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into nothing more than simple e-retail shops between 2010 and 2012, but they did, and spent their money into creating giant cash bleeding machines. The era of unreal valuations and over-optimism about e-commerce, it seems, is thankfully almost over and what will emerge from this is what I like to call “real”, organic, natural e-commerce as could have been the case right from the start, if it wasn’t for the unnecessary VC money.
You may recall this post from a long time ago where I made some predictions about where Indian e-commerce is headed over the next five years, the first of these predictions has come true; I quote:
Most of the venture-backed stores that are currently making losses will continue their downward spiral and will die out. The ones who will survive, are the ones who are currently profitable or are on their way to be profitable.
The fulfilling of this prophecy will inevitably ensure that the rest of the predictions in that post will also come to pass (see how I sound almost biblical there?). — This means a more dynamic, organic, innovative and functioning e-commerce industry in the country that will be a lot of fun to be part of.
E-commerce Slowdown: Flipkart, Jabong cutting jobs - The Times of India
E-commerce & idli profitability - The Hindu
e-commerce may indeed be the future of commerce, but if it is, then the future is a tough place.
E-Commerce in India at Turning Point - India Real Time - WSJ
A ripple of mergers and closures among India’s e-commerce websites that began last year is threatening to become a wave, as these companies find it harder to get fresh funding.
Successful Indian Startups Sacking Employees In Huge Numbers
Bangalore: The cutback of India’s e-commerce sector has led to the handing out of pink slips by online retailers as they shift attention from acquiring customers to controlling costs. Among the companies sacking staff, Flipkart and Jabong, the leaders in the e-commerce space have nearly sacked about one-tenth of the workforce, reports TOI.
Online Fashion Retailer Rock.in Shuts Down
Online fashion retailer Rock.in, backed by Partech International, a venture capital firm based in France and Silicon Valley, has shut shop. This is one of the many e-commerce companies that shut shop in the country over the last three months.