VCCircle E-Commerce Forum 2010: Are we at an inflection point?
An exclusive offline meetup to capture the latest trends in Indian e-commerce.
Ten years after the great dotcom crash, the Indian e-commerce is finally standing at a crossroads. Fuelled by a growing broadband and mobile population, and as Indian consumers shed their fears to make transactions online, there are all indications that e-commerce is finally taking off.
The business environment for online commerce is much more real today, compared to a decade back when the dotcom froth turned into a bust. India’s changing demographic profile, higher disposable incomes, and a well-heeled and tech-savvy urban population are driving this trend. The trend will only get stronger with a new regime of 3G and broadband wireless access set to become a reality in India. Indians are also early adopters of the latest internet phenomena like social networking and social media, strengthening internet as a medium and channel to conduct commerce.
* Online book buying is back with a leading retailer selling a book a minute online.
* There is customer delight with prompt delivery and flawless payment mechanisms building trust in consumers.
* Online travel ticketing has gotten mature with more and more Indians making their travel plans online – be it on third party websites or airline sites.
* Classifieds have made a successful transition online with jobs and matrimonial taking the lead.
* Online retailers are now pushing a larger number of categories such as electronics and white goods.
* Innovative models like group buying are being tested and launched in the market.
* Exclusive and membership based fashion discount stores are mushrooming.
As these trends unfold, entrepreneurs of all hues and investors are keenly watching the consumption behavior of this online-tuned population. This space, once a darling of venture capital funds and tech entrepreneurs, will continue to find takers as they are less capital intensive and highly scalable, the factors investors love. The key is to find the right model, the ability to capture the pulse of the online audience (which in many ways is fickle and is spoilt for choice), and most importantly, the execution and the customer delight.
Now, with rich experience from the first dotcom experience, both entrepreneurs and investors would take care not to rush in. So, what are the key takeaways from the 1999 days? Do we know which models to avoid and which to chase? Are we any wiser today? Are valuations in this space still unrealistic and driven by global examples like Amazon and Groupon?
This space, exciting as it may be, has a deep dark past that has burnt the aspirations of many a tech entrepreneur and a VC mainly because it had come in too early in India’s tech growth cycle. Will we get the act right the second time round?
The key questions are:
* Do we have a critical mass of online population to create a large e-commerce business?
* Do online consumers easily punch their credit card details online?
* Do we have an infrastructure to support e-commerce such as secure payment gateways, efficient logistics, and a delightful customer support?
* Are online buyers concentrated only in metros?
* Will small towns and semi-rural townships ever be part of the e-commerce story?
* And finally do Indians have a mindset to buy online or are a majority of them still fixated with physical transactions?
VCCircle has put together a unique conference where entrepreneurs, venture capital funds, technology and solutions suppliers and ecosystem watchers will try to demystify and navigate the changing contours of the great Indian e-commerce story.
• Avnish Bajaj- MD, Matrix Partner
• Deep Kalra- Founder & CEO, Makemytrip.com
• John Kuruvilla- Founder & CEO, Taggle Internet Ventures Pvt Ltd
• K. Vaitheeswaran – CEO, India Plaza.in
• Sanjeev Bikhchandani – Founder & CEO,Naukri.com
• Vivek Nayak – COO- Avenue India Pvt Ltd
• Harish Bahl- Founder & CEO, Smile Interactive
• Kunal Bahl- CEO, Snapdeal
• Sudhir Shetty- Chairman & CEO, IDG Ventures India
• Mahesh Murthy- Partner, Seedfund
• Mohanjit Jolly- Executive Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
and more joining…
Panel I: E-commerce in India: Are we at an inflection point?
– The early success stories indicating a take-off of e-commerce in India.
– B2B and B2C
– An analysis of online consumer behavior.
– The macro versus micro factors affecting e-commerce.
– Are there viable and scalable models in Indian e-commerce space?
– The hype versus reality.
– Execution. Execution and Execution.
Panel II: In Search Of India’s Amazon
– Will the retailing of pin-to-plane spread work in India?
– Is Indian online commerce restricted to a few niches?
– Beyond travel: What are other emerging themes?
Panel III: How India Pays Online: The future of Transactions
– Evolution of payment gateways
– Is mobile payments the way of the future?
– Growth of credit cards
– Alternate options like debit, cash on delivery, net payment
Panel IV: VCCircle Red-Hot
– Books or multiple categories?
– Fashion discount stores
– Group buying and deals junkies
– Is the online consumer a bargain-hunter and a value-shopper only?
VCCircle Fireside Chat
A chat between an entrepreneur (who hit bullseye in the dotcom boom) and one who is a current favourite.
VCCircle Lounge is a new initiative from VCCircle where companies and investors can meet and network in a structured manner in a separate enclosure. Here companies can make their elevator pitch to a group of select private equity investors and venture capitalists, while investors can sell their funds to India’s fastest growing enterprises.
VCCircle introduces Unwind, which is a zone that allows informal networking with cocktails, a key takeaway for any business conference
Registrations now open at – VC Circle E Commerce Forum