Logistics and connectivity issues affecting e-commerce in the country could be addressed with the launch of high speed 4G mobile services, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Also Read - E-commerce rules draft dos and dont’s: No more flash sales on phones, other goods and more
He met Flipkart co-founder and CEO Sachin Bansal and assured him that the government will provide full support in resolving issues related to logistics and connectivity. “Sachin Bansal has been a great success story in the field of e-commerce. Certain hurdles he talked about… connectivity, logistics issue. Those are issues that could be addressed with the arrival of 4G when connectivity becomes richer,” Prasad said. Also Read - Facebook will now make money from WhatsApp's in-app purchases
Bharti Airtel and Aircel are offering 4G services in select circles.Reliance Jio Infocomm has pan-India licence to offer 4G and is likely to launch the services next year. The minister said it is a very proud moment that young, fresh IIT graduates like Sachin have chosen the path of innovation and establish a very successful company like Flipkart. “The company has around 2 crore customers and Flipkart is employing about 15,000 people, about 900 engineers for innovation and research. These are very exciting and shining example of new India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to promote this new India in a big way,” Prasad said. Also Read - Flipkart to acquire Rs 1,500 crore worth stake in Aditya Birla Group's Fashion retail
Asked about his views on FDI in e-commerce, Bansal said the government is the best judge to look at the matter. Speaking about the postal department’s performance, Bansal said: “In the last six months we have seen lot of improvement in India Post services and we have started using these more and more. We hope to see more improvement over time and also more roll out of 4G, looking forward to that.” Post offices are viewed by some experts as an important link for the growth of e-commerce.
India Post has over 1.55 lakh post offices of which more than 1.39 lakh are in the rural areas. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq km and a population of 7,175 people. According to a joint study by consultancy firm PwC and industry body Assocham, the e-retail industry is poised to touch $10-20 billion by 2017-2020 and e-commerce firms are expected to spend up to $1.9 billion by 2017-2020 on infrastructure, logistics and warehousing.