India Arriving: How This Economic Powerhouse Is Redefining Global Business

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The e-commerce companies either deduct their cut - 12 per cent per cent - at the time of payments or give them an invoice later.

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Thanks to the business SMEs get them, ecommerce and logistics providers invest time in handholding them. So we have to bring out solutions for them such as shipping tools, seamless support, assured deliveries, money back guarrantees, shipment to shipment insurance etc. Both Ebay and Amazon have regular webinars for sellers. They are trained on the latest product trends abroad, how to best describe and market their products, dealing with customers in case of interactive transactions and even responding to emails.

There are drawbacks too. Still, these irritants have done little to curb the enthusiasm of these entrepreneurs. Here are some of their stories. Shelves in his office groan with brands such as Monkey Brand tooth powder, Afghan snow fairness cream, Dabur Amla hair oil and a range of indigenous herbal and Ayurvedic concoctions. The products are a rage in several overseas markets. Simultaneously, he tried to physically export vanilla beans. I did that along with four other products such as saffron in Now he lists 2, products.

Next year, he aims to list 5, Last year, Rao clocked revenues of a skosh over Rs 2 crore. Rao is essentially doing what hundreds of touristy shops in the country do: sell Indian exotica to the world. The difference is that he is marketing goods online and delivering them to their doorsteps. He is competing with 15, other such sellers on several online platforms.

The trick lies in rapidly picking new products and their matching markets.

India arriving : how this economic powerhouse is redefining global business

Product placement is crucial too. For example, on his US storefront, he gave special discounts on herbal products on July 4, the US independence day. For the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival starting September 5, he plans to sell ingredients for the ceremonies online. He plans on listing Patanjali Ayurveda products, khadi clothing and Anna Hazare caps shortly. He worked three years for a relative in Dharavi who stitched leather bags and jackets.

The business folded. Ansari went to Goa and did similar jobs.

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There he came into contact with foreign tourists and discovered their craze for Indian products. Within a year, he came back to Dharavi and resumed work at a different leather garment shop. This time however, he saved money and bought a laptop. He started stitching leather jackets and showcased them on Amazon and eBay. He was soon in business. Ansari, 27, now clocks sales of Rs lakh every year. His brand Skin Outfit only sells overseas, largely to customers in the US. Ansari aspires to reach the size of Boda Skins, a London-based leather apparel maker which started as an eBay store and has grown into a major online retailer, dressing celebrities such as American socialite Khloe Kardashian and rapper Wiz Khalifa.

Ansari follows western styles and trends but sells jackets at a fraction of overseas prices.

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Still, they cost significantly higher than in any outlet in Mumbai. Like Rao, Ansari too has many competitors. An eBay executive said Dharavi itself has more than leather jacket makers and about 60 of them sell online. Ansari has learnt to plan his logistics according to the seasonality of business, stocking leftovers from a good sales season for the next period of high demand. He avoids large numbers as styles are fickle. He has a tight team of 10 employees, including five tailors. Not all of Ansari's transactions have been good experiences.

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He speaks of an NRI designer in London who asked him to stitch jackets to her designs. Ansari used to spend hours on Skype with her, cutting newspapers into jacket designs for approval and making changes as she constantly nit-picked. That was unreasonable. Advances in technology are spurring innovation, growth and globalisation in the tourism industry and redefining notions of travel altogether. If you wanted to book a flight back in the s, it would have taken 90 minutes to manually to process the reservation, and the ticket would have cost more than today in real terms.

Once on the plane, beyond the inflight magazine, there was a lack of in-flight entertainment. Thanks to technology, travelling today is more affordable, accessible and convenient than ever before. The travel industry has been at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to be transformed at an exponential rate across the globe. Digitalisation has left no segment of the travel ecosystem untouched.

Redefining Globalization

The report cites that fifty-two per cent of smartphones in the world are owned in Asia Pacific, and social media is becoming a customer service improvement tool for hospitality groups. The UN World Tourism Organisation projects that international tourist arrivals worldwide will grow at a rate of per cent this year, up from 1, million in The days of stepping into a brick-and-mortar travel agency or thumbing through travel guidebooks are dwindling fast.

Caroline Bremner, head of travel and tourism research at Euromonitor International, said that online sales now account for 40 per cent of total travel product sales, up from 28 per cent in Mobile travel sales have seen phenomenal growth, rising from 2 per cent share of total travel sales in to 12 per cent currently.

Consequently, this means people are increasingly interested in booking hotel rooms, renting cars or buying tickets, tours and other products via their phones. Worldwide, digital travel sales will rise by Established popularity of digital bookings in Asia-Pacific accounts for nearly 35 per cent of global sales, with China alone contributing Travel is essentially about connecting people and places. Leveraging technology such as near-universal high-speed internet connectivity, search and geolocation technologies, mobile payments and social platforms, these connections have evolved and one industry-changing development has been the explosion of the sharing economy.

Tourists worldwide now have a bounty of localised and personalised options for where to stay, what to do and how to get around.

A notable one was the Green Revolution, a program for introducing high-yielding cereal crops in irrigated areas. This solved the problem of food security for the urban middle classes but was more than offset by the continuance of deep rural poverty see Chapter Overall, the outcome was stagnation. As one journalist remarked, "Every time I come back from India, people ask me how India is changing. My reaction is, so far, the same: The phone system is better, the roads are worse, and not much else has changed.

Since then, particularly over the past decade the West has come to know India, but only somewhat. Nowadays, when they interact over the wires or on their home turf, westerners are impressed with Indians' professional skills, technological experience, legal knowledge, and the like. Attracted by lower labor costs, this leads many western businesspeople to consider outsourcing work to India.

Yet, when they step off the plane for the first time, often their first instinct is to wonder why they did not take a flight to China instead. A businessman from Oxford, England, visited Chennai the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu some years ago to see if he might set up a copyediting shop. His first reaction upon exiting the airport was that he felt hot.


It was over 30 degrees Celsius 86 degrees Fahrenheit. And it was 3 A. The smells of the big Indian city, teeming with people even at that hour, were his next sensations, and they were not pleasant. At that point, he felt like telling his chauffeur to turn back. However, as the days passed and he met the same professionals with whom he had conversed by phone from Oxford, he realized that a depth of talent was at hand.

It made sense for him to set up shop in Chennai, where he now employs copy editors.

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Apart from their skills, he notes appreciatively that the state bureaucracy neither discriminates against him nor for him. There are no expectations in return for doing business in Chennai. He prefers this to some other parts of Asia, where the infrastructure is specially tailored to foreign investors, but in return the foreign firm is expected to transfer skills or provide subcontracting work to local businesses.

And, no surprise, these expectations are usually negotiated through a "must-have" local partner. And yet visitors to India, as their visits increase in number, usually return home not just impressed but also distressed. Both emotions are caused by how little they really know the country. For instance, many businesspersons returning from Mumbai, the country's commercial center, report that the quality of professional skills excites them even as the slums attached, barnacle-like, to every high-rise building upset them.