Techcircle organized the 7th edition of the Techcircle E-commerce Forum on 26th February at Vivanta By Taj, Cuff Parade in Mumbai. The main focus of the enclave was: investments, business fundamentals, investor’s attitudes and the future of the e-commerce industry.
Techcircle.in, is owned by New Delhi-headquartered Mosaic Media Ventures Pvt Ltd, a leading online financial data and information services group. The group’s products also include VCCircle.com and financial data platform VCCEdge. Techcircle, launched in February 2011, tracks the Indian technology startup ecosystem specializing in areas such as technology startups, founders, innovations, products, strategies and startup financing.
The 7th Techcircle E-commerce Forum saw robust attendance from over 350 industry stalwarts like top venture investors, leading e-commerce entrepreneurs and startup founders. The top speakers of the summit were Ambareesh Murthy, Founder & CEO, Pepperfry.com; Amit Jain, CEO & Co-founder, CarDekho.com; Dhruv Agarwala, Co-founder, Proptiger.com, Kunal Shah, Founder & CEO, FreeCharge.in; Mausam Bhatt, Sr. Director, Marketing (Mobile and Digital), Flipkart.com; and Vikram Chopra, Co-founder, FabFurnish; among others.
The Highlights Of The Conference
- Proved to be an engaging annual platform for e-commerce entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and top and emerging tech startups.
- There were key discussions around topics such as: E-commerce play in India, Consolidation, Impact of E-Commerce on Retail, etc.
- The Nasscom 10,000 Startups powered Techcircle Ecommerce Showcase: A curated platform that brough five emerging companies to make elevator pitches to a jury, investors and fellow entrepreneurs.
Notable Panel Discussions
Panel I: E-Commerce Play In India: Too Expensive A Bet Or Futuristic Investment At A Nominal Price?
Moderator: Vikas Dawra, Managing Director, Investment Banking, YES Bank Ltd.
Panellists: Prashanth Prakash. Partner, Accel Partners; Sundeep Malhotra, Founder & CEO, HomeShop 18, Avnish Bajaj, MD, Matrix Partners; and Ambareesh Murthy, Founder & CEO, Pepperfry.com.
The discussion centred around the ground reality of what’s driving investments, the fundamentals of the e-commerce business, investors’ bullish attitudes towards the sector as well as the future of the industry in the medium to long term.
Panel II: Is Consolidation The Only Way Forward?
Moderator: TC Meenakshisundaram, Founder & MD, IDG Ventures
Panellists: Supam Maheshwari, Co-founder & CEO, FirstCry.com; Yashish Dahiya, CEO & Co-Founder, PolicyBazaar.com; Niren Shah, MD, Norwest Venture Partners, Dhruv Agarwala, Co-founder, PropTiger.com.
As quite a few niche players either folded up or were acquired in the past year and a half, the panel debated if e-commerce is attaining maturity and if there a trend towards consolidation.
Panel III: Impact Of E-Commerce On Indian Retail Industry; Bridging The Online-Offline Gap
Moderator: Samir Kumar, MD, Inventus Capital Partners
Panellists: Abhishek Lal, Ecommerce Director, Adidas Group India; Vikram Chopra, Co-founder, FabFurnish.com; Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, Founder & CEO, BlueStone.com; Falguni Nayar, CEO, Nykaa.com; and Dippak Khurana, Co-founder & CEO, Vserv.
The discussion centred on how the growth and popularity of e-commerce has led established retailers to rethink their strategy. The importance of having an omni-channel strategy in place, and the importance of creating brands was also touched upon. The panel also ruminated upon how to bridge the online-offline gap and secure customers’ mind and wallet share.
Panel IV: E-Commerce Vs. M-Commerce; The Way Forward
Moderator: Pradeep Tagare, Investment Director, Intel Capital
Panellists: Mausam Bhatt, Sr. Director – Marketing (Mobile and Digital) Flipkart.com; Kunal Shah, Founder, FreeCharge.in; Upasana Taku, Co-Founder, MobiKwik; and Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, Ixigo.com.
The panel agreed that the m-commerce phenomenon will endure. Over 40 per cent of the traffic of leading e-commerce players already comes from mobile, so the discussion centred around how to find a balance between e-com and m-com. The opportunities for food outlets, banks, retailing, entertainment companies, payments firms, etc. in this space was also discussed.
Here’s what a few Industry stalwarts had to say about customers and how customers are visiting their sites, which gives us a great real-world perspective on how this sector is shaping up.
Price is not the most important parameter — Shalabh Shrivastava, Director, Customer Experience, Flipkart.com
What worked for us is recommendations solutions to people’s problems in the space — Manish Taneja, Co-founder & CEO, Purplle.com
Loyalty should be built through a relationship — Yogendra Vasupal, Co-founder & CEO, Stayzilla
10% of our traffic 1.5 years back was mobile. Today 70% traffic is mobile, more specifically app driven. — Mausam Bhatt, Sr. Director, Marketing (Mobile and Digital) Flipkart.com
73% of our traffic is from mobile.– Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, Ixigo.com
98% of our transactions happen through mobile… Apps are more sticky in comparison to mobile web. — Kunal Shah, Founder, FreeCharge.in
The 7th Techcircle E-commerce Forum provided a great opportunity to five early-stage e-commerce companies to pitch and showcase their offerings at the event. The participating startups were:
Pumpkart.com: An online store for agricultural and domestic pumps which offers a large variety of pumps including basement toilet pumps, booster pumps, car cleaning pumps, drainage pumps, hydropneumatic pumps, borewell pumps, rainwater pumps, waste water pumps, monoblock pumps, high pressure pumps, solar pumps, etc.
NGA Technologies Pvt Ltd: Has developed AUTOnCAB, an Android/iOS app, thorough which one can hail autorickshaws. The app also calculates the distance and fare of a ride, along with the ability to monitor drivers and rides in real time.
Voconow Enterprises: Static print ads are made interactive and transactional. This transforms them into a sales channel and source of revenue. It’s an endeavour to connect offline print media to online digital media.
Retail Labs: Has developed Getnow.at to facilitate hyper-local online shopping. Consumers can order products from stores in their city with guaranteed delivery in six hours. Local stores list their products on the marketplace and the firm handles the distribution aspect.
Crunch Commerce: M-commerce tools to are integrated with the traditional e-commerce backend. Crunch Commerce’s flagship product is Crunch Adaptive, a mobile-web platform which transforms the mobile web browser into an app like experience.