Owing to the reservation row in Gujarat, the state government declared a ban on mobile internet and SMS services, last Saturday, 19 September 2015. While the move was taken to keep a check on the brewing tension, the ban affected ecommerce sales as the industry depends on the Internet connectivity.
M-commerce was affected, as apps were inaccessible to the ones using mobile data. Number of orders dropped too as one-time password SMS validation system for payments wasn’t possible due to SMS service ban. Operations took a hit, as communication between etailers and online sellers wasn’t smooth. However, ecommerce sites were available through Wi-Fi and regular Internet service providers.
There was a similar ban in Gujarat for a week in August, when riots broke out. Therefore, this time some start-ups operating from the state were prepared for it, while some weren’t.
Good news is that the mobile internet ban that lasted for 2 days in Gujarat has been lifted as on Sunday evening, i.e. 20th September, except Mehsana district. A public notification released by police officials read as, “Looking at the current situation in the city, the ban on mobile internet is no longer deemed necessary. Thus I order to lift the ban, effective from 4 PM.”
As Gujarat is known as a business community and investment friendly state, such bans can prove to be detrimental. We hope the latest ban was the last one and it will be business as usual.