‘Big Billion Days 2016’. ‘Amazon Great Indian Festival’. The headline grabbed as much attention as the conversation that went around it. It was a festival bonanza with the leading three e-commerce companies offering discounts at unbelievable rates which may not be possible offline. Questions of all hue and shades came flying thick and fast. ‘Who is offering the discount? The marketplace or the brand marketed?’ that’s interesting given two of the service providers in the picture commenced e-commerce by selling books online. And then the conversation veered off ‘what about the competition? How will the small business survive this onslaught of deep cuts engineered in the form of discounts that will leave many retailers bleeding? Won’t they be crushed under the might of the online companies that have the money and muscle to move around? And another inquired“Well, why would the west look at east?“ Apple teams up with Flipkart to sell iPhone 7 in India’, Wal-Mart Is in Talks to Invest in Indian Startup Flipkart. Does it mean the well has dried up? Not necessarily, just that another source of stream has been spotted and sellers want to make the most of the opportunity. Market research and consumer behavior might sound as marketing jazz and jargons, but closer scrutiny would help to analyze the information other than those matters that meets the eye. Bank of America estimated Amazon could increase its market share to 37 percent by 2019 from 31 percent now, approaching the 44 percent held currently by Flipkart. Essentially, looking east speaks about synergy. Apple teams with Flipkart for a win-win engagement. While online sales range from anything to everything, the festivity seemed to focus more on the consumer electronics and large appliances categories. Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi reported selling half a million smartphones in just 72 hours by riding on the high wave of online shopping festivals. With the kind of financial backing or by virtue of their own strength, the top three can turnaround the game with a price pitch that others won’t be able to match. Is it all over for the small business? We have to accept that trade and commerce has evolved from wholesaler to retailer to E-tailers. Market penetration is still a challenge – and so is internet connectivity. For instance, Italy has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in Europe. It would be presumptuous to credit every sale to be online. There is market for offline or brick and mortar – apple store is a telling testimony. And market out there is big enough to accommodate but you have to bet on your brand as there is no guaranteeing your slice of the share. End of the day, does the consumer care about the competition? NO. It would be after-sales service. Read through the above passage as an analogy and place it in the perspective of your career. Corporate shop for talent – and your place of origin is irrelevant so long you deliver. You can be a native or expatriate – how does it matter when visa can be arranged, in case required. But the topline is talent.
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