Looking ahead, there are a few things which can help grow this sector. The mobile is perhaps the biggest opportunity. But the inability to do payments on mobile is a big constraint. RBI needs to step in and fix the rules and help the ecosystem simplify payments on the mobile dramatically. I have maintained that one cannot treat small payments (say, less than Rs 500 or 1,000) the same way as the larger ones. Smaller payments need to be simplified so that transactions can be easily completed on the mobile.
Second, there will perhaps be some consolidation and combination between offline retailers and their online brethren. The offline retailers can now pick up some of the eCommerce companies that may not be doing so well, and leverage them into building their own significant presence online.
Third, the entry of international players like Amazon will up the ante for the Indian players who will need to then make a decision of whether to sell or stay. Either way, the sector will expand, and so will the offerings and the service.
So, in the short-term, there will be some pain as we hear about the bubble bursting. Don’t worry about that. What is happening is that a new industry has been created that will forever change the way Indians shop and buy. And that is good for businesses, investors and entrepreneurs.