Kunal Bahl, CEO and founder, Snapdeal.com,Said about sheds light on emerging prospects and how students should look to reaping dividends.
AS a matter of fact, Internet usage in India grew 19 per cent between April 2006 and April 2007; it grew to 30.32 million in volume and e-marketers predicted that there would be about 71 million total Internet-users in India by the end of this year. India has a tremendous growth rate in e-commerce. Undoubtedly, with a middle class population of 288 million, online shopping has unlimited potential. Real estate costs are soaring — the contribution of travel portals in online businesses was 50 per cent of the total Rs 4,800 crore online market in 2007-08.
Moreover, an annual growth of 65 per cent is anticipated annually in the travel portals alone. e-commerce is booming, thanks to the low cost of PCs and the growing popularity of the Internet. According to a McKinsey-Nasscom report, e-commerce transactions in India reached $100 billion by 2008. Although, as compared to countries in the West, India is still in the initial stage of development, if the growth rate doesn’t show signs of flagging there are bright prospects ahead. Kunal Bahl, CEO and founder, Snapdeal.com, in an exclusive conversation with The Statesman, sheds light on emerging prospects and how students can reap dividends. Excerpts from an interview:
How can students kickstart a career in e-commerce?
The e-commerce space is experiencing exponential growth. To meet the growing market demand, all e-commerce companies are looking to expand their teams. And a career in an industry witnessing such high demand is always rewarding, since individual growth is bound to follow the same trajectory.
What are the prospects students can look forward to?
e-commerce staff not only include IT professionals and web publication specialists, but also hybrid professionals with a skill profile combining various domains of the business. At the end of the day, it’s also important for companies to have quality manpower in different functions like sales and marketing, product sourcing, merchandising and, most importantly, customer relationship management.
Does one need to specialise in certain skills to stay afloat in e-commerce?
Specialisation is required for roles that demand specific skill sets, like the technology function. But for other business roles, specialisation is not mandatory.
What are the challenges associated with e-commerce and how can these be dealt with?
(In terms of hiring) the challenges associated have more to do with finding the right set of people for the right kind of roles. It does not benefit either the individual or the company to hire resources that are not fit for the job, both in terms of personality and skill sets.
What is the future of e-commerce in India and how is it connected with the information systems?
Given the growth of Internet penetration and the rising number of credit card-holders, the entire e-commerce industry will definitely continue to see explosive growth in the future. Information Technology and innovative systems will determine the new trends in this industry than any other factor, given the kind of platforms and the dependency of e-commerce on these platforms.
How does e-commerce benefit business?
e-commerce platform is an online channel through which retailers acquire customers and reach out to target audiences within a short time span. Retailers adapting this route have the opportunity to capture customers who may be otherwise difficult to reach. Also, business can be scaled up at a much faster pace than the traditional way of physical presence across cities.
What are the methods of handling and tracking e-commerce transactions.
There are multiple new age tools that are deployed these days to handle and track e-commerce transactions. Also, there are various enterprise applications that help to track the customer order, right from the time of booking to delivery over and above feedback.