American Rajpal, Director & CEO, American Swan, feels that the Union Budget 2014-15 is still ambiguous on allowing FDI in ecommerce. Referring to the budget announcement that manufacturing units will be allowed to sell its products through retail including e-commerce platforms without any additional approval, he said that it meant manufacturing units can sell through e-commerce platforms like Snapdeal, Ebay, Flipkart, Amazon.com, etc. in their current format in India, which they could do earlier as well.
Rajpal added that while the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) is keen on opening E-commerce to FDI, as was made abundantly clear in the meeting with industry stakeholders, but they were also clear that they needed to understand how FDI would help boost manufacturing. A more robust online retail sector will spur manufacturing and help an economic revival.
He stated that it is interesting to note that India currently does not allow global online retailers from selling goods directly to customers but allows them to own 100 percent of a marketplace business, where third-party suppliers can use their platform. Both Amazon and eBay use such a platform to operate in the country.
In general, it was a good budget focussed on infrastructure, he mentioned.