The e-commerce industry has been growing rapidly. People are shifting from the conventional way of trade & shopping to the online mode. Businesses are making high-end profits by setting up their business with a computer and a high-speed internet, where customers are just one click away. However, it has severely affected the shopkeepers and traders who are untouched from internet-based commerce. People, specifically from Village-based cottage and handloom (Khadi) industries in India have faced a lot of difficulties in recent years to compete with e-commerce companies. People use online stores to buy and sell things which makes it difficult for such micro industries to earn their living.
To bridge the gap between the MSME Industry (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) & the e-business platform, the Indian government is planning to soon launch a national level e-commerce platform, just like Amazon & Alibaba. The e-commerce platform will enable & assist MSME & Khadi & Village Industries Commission to sell their products online to reach the consumers from all across the nation.
In a recent report, Nitin Gadkari, the MSME Minister of India told Lok sabha that he wants to develop facilities for MSME & other village-based industries to be able to access the internet-based businesses. He wants his ministry to work on the development of an e-commerce platform.
Nitin Gadkari expressed that the said two sectors are incapable of marketing their products and services to the nation as well as to the world. However, he understands the potential of the industry to be able to cater to the needs of the National as well as the global class of consumers. All they need is a friendly platform where they can market their products. He further says that in the coming 5 years, he wants the MSME industry to contribute to 50% of India’s GDP and create up to 5 crore jobs.
Gadkari Ji acknowledged the potential success of MSME industries in countries like USA & China, which has been made possible by e-commerce giants like Amazon & Alibaba respectively. In this regard, he said “we are soon to launch a big marketing website for MSME and Khadi Gram-Udyog. The preparations have started and a lot of people and industries will have access to it & will get benefitted.”
The time is ripe for the government to enter the e-commerce market, the no. of online consumers has increased to a great extent. Unlike the advent of the e-commerce industry, people now have a better understanding and a sense of trust for online vendors. This will give an advantage to the government.
However, when we look at the bigger picture, the biggest e-commerce companies from around the world, including India, are making a great chunk of losses in their businesses. Thus, if the MSME ministry has decided to develop a platform, they should be aware of the facts that negative bottom-line figures could be the cost of uplifting the MSME & Gram Udhyog Industries.
Even though the Government comes with good intentions and a seemingly good plan of action, it still might face some challenges. The e-commerce industry bears losses in thousands of crores. And if the government wants its product to sustain in the market, it will have to enter well prepared to bear similar losses.