“Ecommerce cannot be stopped and is only going to grow stronger,” Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said at the India Economic Summit, organised by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
While favouring liberalization of the economy so that startups can benefit from foreign investment, Kant said,”Small retailers must embrace technology and ecommerce alongside brick and mortar stores,”“Ecommerce in India is a $25 billion market right now… I can say with confidence it will become $300 billion by 2025,” he added.
He said that startups do not need any protectionist policies and since the government has opened up almost every sector in the last two years it cannot backtrack now.“Indian startups have the ability to take over the Amazons of the world through their understanding of the Indian market,” Kant said.
Kant is heading a committee that is reviewing ecommerce rules. He also said that technology will have to transform manufacturing from a dark, dirty and dangerous activity to something more glamourous.
“It may lead to some loss of jobs of a particular kind but we have to therefore invest in skilling people accordingly,” Kant said.
On whether the state can stay out of the process of digitization and ecommerce, Kant said that government has to spearhead change for India’s transformation into a cashless society.“By 2025 every person will become a walking ATM… Indians are moving to mobile payments, use of biometrics at a very fast pace,” Kant said.
Talking about the Chinese model of growth, the Niti Aayog CEO said India cannot imitate its neighbor’s policies but it must tap into the huge market potential of the country.