24 Jun 2018
Google plans to enter the e-commerce space from Indian market
If that happens, Google could take on both Amazon and Flipkart, the two e-commerce giants in the country.
The Indian e-commerce sector is pegged at $38.5 billion currently and is projected to grow to $100 billion by 2020.
Like Amazon did, Google to launch solo in India
Earlier, Google was in talks to invest at least $2 billion in Flipkart, after Walmart bought a 77% stake in the latter for $16 billion last month.
But now, Google has dropped the idea, reportedly after witnessing Walmart shareholders' apprehension about the Flipkart deal.
"Google started having second thoughts as it felt that the valuation ... quoted was inflated," a Flipkart executive said.
The initiative is spearheaded by Google product manager Caesar Sengupta
Google's has been "secretively" working on its e-commerce plans in India for a year now.
According to reports, the company wanted to take its time understanding the Indian market better before committing to anything.
Google thinks that in the Indian market, "it is better to have a budgeted spend than unbudgeted and unlimited discounts that other cash cow businesses have to fund in perpetuity."
The run up to the launch
So far, Google has been involved in some 2,000 workshops to identify over 15,000 potential sellers for the upcoming e-commerce platform.
It has also chalked out how the new venture will reach rural India.
The company will offer assisted shopping to people new to the digital world via its 48,000 "Internet Saathis" (women who teach other women how to use the internet) across India.
An indication of Google's growing interest in e-commerce
Earlier this week, Google invested $550 million in JD.com, which is a popular Chinese e-commerce platform widely used in India. The strategic partnership was aimed at jointly developing new and existing markets, the two companies had said. Notably, Walmart is also an investor in JD.com.
An omni-channel experience to increase number of sellers
Google Shopping, the tech giant's paid advertisement listing service for offline retailers, is being refined as well. Through it, the company wants to encourage brick-and-mortar retailers to list with Google and become a seller on its e-commerce platform.