IKEA is 99% targeted

Ashish Goel, CEO of Urban Ladder, is a design geek.

At the beginning of our conversation, we start talking about bookshelves. His eyes light up.

“Bookshelves are special. There are not many manufacturers who get it right. Especially in India.

Really?

“Yes. One thing people always miss is that to make bookshelves properly, you need to understand books. People are always designing for the Western market – where people mainly buy hardbacks on paperbacks. In India, this is another way, so you have to adjust accordingly. Long shelves Shelves of books have to be held. People try to sell them, usually made of 13 inches. Waste of space. “

We are in the office of Urban Ladder in Bangalore. It was late in the evening, but the office was busy with activity. It’s been a long day for CEO Ashish Goel. He excuses himself to take coffee.

Goel’s office is located above the retail store at Domlur. It’s a storefront with signs you can’t miss, especially when you’re traveling on the Ring Road from Indiranagar to Koramangala – two pockets of modern wealth in the city. They informed me that they will be celebrating the store’s one year anniversary this week. Cupcakes. There are seven other stores in Urban Ladder, but the first one in Domlur. This is a special day for them.

All the attention will be elsewhere though. In the same week that Urban Ladder celebrated its first anniversary, IKEA, the world’s largest and most prominent furniture retailer, is opening its first store in Hyderabad, India. Finally, after decades of hard work, IKEA is officially entering India.

The Urban Ladder Store in Domlur is approximately 640 square meters. If you’re looking at the Football World Cup, this comparison is even more topical – it’s the size of the penalty box.

By comparison, the IKEA store in Hyderabad is the size of five football fields.

Analyzing the flow

As of June 2012, a month before the launch of Urban Ladder, IKEA had applied to the Indian Ministry of Commerce with a proposal to invest Rs 8,200 crore ($ 1.2 billion) and open 25 stores in India. Urban Ladder co-founders Ashish Goel and Rajeev know that Srivastava is coming from today. Pepperfry — Some furniture retailer founded a few months ago. The two companies opened six years early and have since raised over $ 300 million. And both have adopted the same start-up – e-commerce companies that sell furniture and home furnishings on their websites. The idea seemed to be this: stay online and avoid IKEA on its home turf.

Now that plan is in motion. Both online players are heading in the direction they want to escape. After all, if you know that a company called IKEA, which is not known for half the dimensions, has clearly indicated its intention to build dozens, why would you build physical stores? Why try to fight turf that works to the benefit of your competitor, who has decades of experience in 24 countries, the world’s largest supply chain and $ 42 billion in annual revenue? Why this delay? It seems like Twitter suddenly announced that it was going to build post offices. Or if you decide to set up a Flipkart shopping mall. It didn’t make sense.

Between the time IKEA announced its intentions in 2012 and when it finally came, the answer lies in understanding what is happening in India in the online and offline world. It is about understanding IKEA’s ambitions in India and its approach to products. Above all, it is in understanding that retail is one of the most attractive and difficult categories of furniture.

 

The Return of License Raj: E-Commerce Policy behind Decoding India’s D (R)

As one smart businessman once said, data is new oil.

Where does the journey begin?

And then he said it again and again and again. Until the phrase takes on a life of its own. A sort of opportunistic chant in the public nation hall in corporate boardrooms, bureaucracy and government corridors. Until the draft National Policy Framework for Electronic Commerce in India was incorporated. Or simply put, a policy document that has been in the works for the past few months for regulating e-commerce.

Earlier this week, the draft e-commerce policy document emerged. There is a copy at Ken. Its contents, read as recommendations, only make for important reading. Below are important notes from the 19-page document. This part is dense, but read on, so you’re ready for what’s coming next.

  1. We don’t know what electronic commerce is. So a definition for policy design is adopted.
  2. The data is oil. So steps will be taken to promote data storage in India. One way is tax benefits, a reduction in custom tariffs.
  3. Whether shopping for social media for search engines, the data generated by users in India from all sources is stored exclusively in India. The government accesses this data for national security and public policy goals, subject to confidentiality, compliance and so on.
  4. Improving the use and visibility of a vague state-owned payment system called RuPay by mandating its listing as an option in e-commerce transactions. Currently, Rupee is seen as a poor man’s card.
  5. Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a biometric based information authentication technology for payments.
  6. Creating a social credit database through a public-private partnership to facilitate digital lending.
  7. Establish an e-commerce retail platform specifically for small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), vendors and suppliers. Solving their financial problems to help them sell online. Encourages online platforms to get more MSMEs on board. Helps MSMEs get data analytics, among other things, to sell online.
  8. Giving more teeth to the Enforcement Directorate to follow up on those who violated Press Note 3 The note talks about the regulation of foreign investment in e-commerce.
  9. Amend the Companies Act to allow entrepreneurs to have control over their e-commerce companies through differential voting rights, despite a minority stake.
  10. Prohibiting bulk buying of electronics, white goods and branded fashion items by related party vendors. This is to stop the price distortions in the market.
  11. Restriction on the e-commerce marketplace to influence the prices of products sold on their platforms.
    The limit on in-depth discounts, especially the period when e-commerce marketplaces can offer deep discounts.
    Create a level playing field for foreign and domestic e-commerce companies.
  12. Give the Competition Commission of India (CCI) more teeth to change regulations and stop competition from mergers and acquisitions. This includes the provision of access to data.
  13. Establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority to control e-commerce companies and all issues related to them.
  14. Establishment of e-consumer courts to examine consumer disputes.
    Power of the Government of India to obtain source code to investigate unfair trade practices, fraud and compliance with laws in India.
  15. Implementation of a substantial financial presence as the basis for determining the permanent establishment and acquisition of tax in the country between multinationals and related parties in India.
  16. That’s all there is to it. Now.

If you’re struggling for a word to describe what you’ve just read, help is at hand. The word license is Raj.

Binny Bansal, CEO and co-founder of Flipkart, said some of the proposals, such as filing an IPO for Indian startups and increased spending on data center infrastructure, will benefit the entire Indian Internet ecosystem. “But others need to be discussed much more because some of the proposals will definitely scare FDI investors from India and stunt growth of the internet sector,” Bansal told Ken.

 

Reliance Jio is set to enter the wired broadband sector this month

When it comes to data, business travel website Live From a Lounge Editor Ajay Avatane said Jio is currently offering a 100GB cap in Mumbai with a selection of top-ups. “Currently, users get 100GB of data every month, and if they run out of data, they need to go to the MyGio app and top-up with a recharge. The top-up is currently free, and they get an additional 100 GB of data, ”he explained. He said he was involved in the Geo Gigafiber trial in January when he started laying optic fiber cables at his neighbor, Ghatkopar in Mumbai.

A source who works as a doctor in Chandigarh, a leading hospital, said he was able to get into the beta trial because he saw people burning fiber at his house. In cities like Chandigarh, the entire infrastructure for fiber is hooked up to power poles. Here Gigafiber’s data caps follow a different system than in Mumbai. “They give you 40GB increments 25 times a month. They call it a special tariff voucher, ”the source said. This means users can get up to 1,000 GB per month as part of the beta trial. The speed is slower than what they advertised. “They’re doing 100 Mbps ads, but I’m getting 70-75 Mbps download and 60-65 Mbps upload speeds,” he said.

A consistent feature of the source and incarnate locations is that the company charges Rs 4,500 ($ 65.53) as a security deposit for the installation of the service. As part of this, customers will see the Android device as a set-top box but double as a wireless router and can connect to the television. The device has the output for the phone landline connection. However, in the case of Chandigarh source, a set-top box for television will be installed later, officials said. Only the router was provided to him.

Media reports indicate that the initial tests were carried out in Navi Mumbai and some parts of South Mumbai.

Ken, a Geo customer care executive, said it takes six months to connect customers once they are registered. If fiber is already installed in a neighborhood, it will drop for a month after obtaining permits from housing societies.

Now that Geo has stepped up, the question is whether this will translate to market dominance when the gigafiber is out of beta phase.

Street fight

Unlike their wireless cellular operations, Geo is unlikely to explode on the scene when it comes to wired broadband. The reality is that wired broadband play is very different from wireless telecom. The latter is easy to scale, and telephone towers provide coverage for a large number of people. The former, however, requires a lot of effort to reach every customer.

The CEO of an MSO company, who does not want to be named, explained that it is not easy for companies to provide personal housing. “For a single home, it takes two people and at least 3-4 days. If someone has to do it underground, which MSOs often do, it can be very difficult. It will take years for Geo to penetrate [the sector], ”he says.

Similarly, Udit Mehrotra, CEO and Managing Director of Gurugram-based ISP Spectra, said it could take weeks to months for Spectra to break into new surroundings. To illustrate his point, the customer takes several steps to get a fiber connection. “If you go to the Spectra website and order fiber broadband, this can be a very attractive process. You must fill out the paperwork. Then we have to verify the details. We call to settle an appointment. You need to attend or make sure there is another. It takes two 2-3 hours to fix the whole thing. You also need to accept the path that cable takes to enter your home. Then our team will connect fiber broadband, ”said Mehrotra.

And then there are permissions.

To enter a town or city, a company must obtain the right of way from local municipal agencies. After that, more permits are needed from residential communities and housing societies to enter the neighborhood. With commercial buildings, the owners must give the permits.

 

It comes down to the wire as Jio’s Gigafiber is beating

It’s like the epic scene in Jurassic Park. Some were trapped in the car for fear. A glass of water on the dashboard. Something big can make waves in it. Unseen. Its arrival, terribly inevitable. Frightening, because it could be the end for the people in the car. In today’s story, the car is India’s wired broadband space; Trapped passengers include Airtel, ACT, Spectra and others. And the looming behemoth? Reliance Geo.

When it comes to Geo, the fear we have seen in the telecom sector for the past few years is very real. With the power of Reliance Industries’ bottomless boxes, Geo can break into one location, define market dynamics in a nutshell, and easily outpace well-established competitors. In the three years since its launch in 2015, Jio already has more than 205 million wireless mobile customers. That’s 18.17% of the market.

Operators

This is achieved by reducing geo tariffs and reducing existing telecom operators. In the ensuing price war, Jio’s competitors were sidelined as they struggled to keep pace. This has led to consolidation in the industry. Prior to 2015, there were nine wireless telecom operators in the country. Today, there are effectively only three.

With a steady and ever-present grip on wireless cellular space, Geo’s ambitions to add wired broadband space have also increased. To this end, GeoGigafiber will announce its wired broadband offering on August 15th. According to the Akamai State of the Internet report, in a country with an average internet speed of 6.5 Mbps in 2017, GeoGigFiber is promising 1 Gigabit. This is a promise that excites consumers, but competitors are concerned.

And these competitors are not limited to wired broadband space. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio Gigafiber will provide broadband Internet, cable television and landline voice services. In telecommunication parlance, it is called triple play. One provider offers three services for the home. For cable television operators, internet service providers (ISPs) and DTH services, this effectively means Jio for everyone.

Shock waves have already been experienced. Shares of multisystem operators (MSOs) – which offer cable and broadband services – fell after the announcement. On the day of the announcement, Hathaway shares were down 15%, Den Networks and CT Networks were down 10%. Airtel is already preparing to fight Jio’s biggest rival in the telecom space – its fair use policy (FUP) on wired broadband services in Hyderabad Circle. FUP is a cap on how much data a customer can consume at high speeds, with speeds exceeding 512 Kbps.

Gio’s goal is to reach 50 million home broadband users in 1,100 towns and cities. This is huge, as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data from March 2018 shows that India has a total of 21.24 million subscribers of Wired Broadband players. The number of fixed-line telephone subscribers in India is 22.81 million. The number of active paid DTH subscribers is 67.53 million. Jio does not want to break into these categories, it wants to take over.

To make this a reality, Jio said it had allocated Rs 250,000 crore ($ 37.57 billion) to push its wired and wireless broadband. Jio has just allocated Rs 65,000 crore ($ 9.97 billion) to build its optic fiber cable network, a senior telecom analyst with the financial services company told TheCan. Currently, Geo has 300,000 root kilometers of optic fiber cable nationwide.

Ken sent a detailed list of questions to Geo, but with the launch of Gigafiber, the company was reluctant to answer questions.

At this point, existing ISPs, MSOs, DTH companies and other cable providers seem to be the crowd watching Jio’s juggernaut. After the success of its wireless cellular services, another wave of Jio-powered disruption seems inevitable. But is it really that straightforward? Away from it.