Indian ecommerce seems to be looking at an influx of funds. According to this report by Business Line, NDTV Ethnic Retail is planning to raise a staggering Rs. 600 crores from investors. The popular news network runs Indianroots, an online store that caters to global Indians.
The report says that NDTV is looking at raising the money in the next three months. It plans to utilise the funds in acquiring start-up etailers who are into accessories, jewellery and furnishings. The plan is to move beyond its current scale and putting up a competition to ecommerce players like Myntra, Jabong and the like.
IOS had recently reported that Indianroots has raised Rs. 32 crores from Jaipur-based KJS Investors. With the new plans to acquire and expand, NDTV has set its sights on going beyond the Indian ethnic. It plans to include the entire gamut of clothes and accessories driven by Indian fashion trends.
Indianroots – a short history
NDTV started Indianroots in 2013 as an ethnic store that sells Indian clothes and accessories to meet the needs of overseas Indians. A quick look at the website shows that it is for the niche market. Indianroots ships its products across the globe. Payment options include credit and debit cards, PayPal, and PayU. The buyer will have to pay a shipping fee, and customs and taxes. As of now, the option of cash on delivery is not available.
Indianroots features big names. It sells creations of designers like Rohit Bal, Vikram Phadnis, Manoviraj Khosla, Deepika Govind, and Neeta Lulla to name a few. Brands including Mina Bazaar, Yukta, AND, Ethnic Weaves, Global Desi, among others are featured on the site. It claims to work with artisans and craftsmen to create its collection.
The question arises whether Indianroots will stick to its present target audience, or will it look at including different economic segments.
Competition for existing players
NDTV Ethnic Retail has clearly stated that it plans to take on the likes of Flipkart, Jabong, and Myntra. The report says that it plans to expand its scope to include gadgets and food. With many players entering the market, it becomes a case of the survival of the fittest. Shoppers are spoiled for choice, and will naturally go with the sellers who give them the best deals.
Indianroots has the solid backing of NDTV’s credibility and trust that it has built over the years as a leading news channel. Ecommerce is a growing field. However, does NDTV really need to dip its hand in every dish? The competition is intense as it is, and for most of the players it is their bread and butter.
Indian online sellers, particularly those in the niche market, will have to watch their back and up the game now.