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Retail, e-commerce likely to see fairly good year ahead: Snapdeal CEO

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The company is also looking at ways to get more buyers to opt for digital payments

New Delhi: Retail and e-commerce businesses are likely to see a “fairly good” year ahead, given the strength of the Indian economy and uptick of demand in various categories as well as traction from semi-urban locations, according to Snapdeal CEO Himanshu Chakrawarti.

“As we are seeing currently, our economy is in a very good shape and all aspects of the business, specifically the categories that we operate in, which is in the in disposable income categories… I think we’re going to see a significant boost-up next year,” Chakrawarti told PTI.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Digital Acceleration & Transformation Expo (DATE with Tech).

“We are seeing green shoots come through even in the semi-urban areas and with the tailwind that we have, I think both retail and e-commerce should see a fairly good year in 2024,” Chakrawarti said.

On Snapdeal’s expansion plans, the top boss of the e-commerce platform said it is looking at ways to reach out to more and more people in the hinterland, and to encourage them to buy online.

“And there’s a lot of effort that we are making predominantly in the voice and the vernacular space. That is one area where we are going to see a lot of innovation that we will carry out for the Tier-2 and beyond audiences, as we bring technology to them,” he said.

The company is also looking at ways to get more buyers to opt for digital payments.

“The second part which we are working on is to how to convert a lot of them (users) from cash-on-delivery to digital payments. With government’s initiatives that we’ve seen and the amount of digital penetration, it is something that we are working on…to increase the digital payments penetration,” Chakrawarti said.

Whether Snapdeal is looking at an IPO, Chakrawarti said the company will look at how to capitalise the business further “at the right moment”, be it through the public market or private.

“But having said that, our preference has always been for the public market… to go public. So at the opportune moment, when it is right and we feel it is, and when we are ready for it, we will be looking at it,” he said.

On the funding winter in the startup ecosystem, Chakrawarti believes there is no dearth of capital for ventures focusing on business fundamentals.

“I don’t think there’s a lack of capital availability. What has happened is that the capital is going to businesses which are working on generating revenues and profits, and focusing on basics of business not just growth and customer acquisitions… which in any case is what should have been,” he said.

Investors are looking at these aspects very carefully now, and startups that prioritise business basics will not face any issues.

“There is enough capital available in the market,” he said.

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