In its ongoing race with Flipkart and Amazon India for e-commerce supremacy, Snapdeal is set to tap into the rural areas in India. In partnership with FINO PayTech, Snapdeal will reach out to people living in slums like Dharavi in Mumbai, and villages in Rajasthan and Haryana, among many others Times of India reports. Also Read - FIR filed against Twitter India again, now over child pornography contentAlso Read - Mi Notebook Pro X to be Xiaomi's most expensive laptop yet, launch tomorrow
The e-commerce company plans to set up as many as 5,000 e-commerce kiosks across 70,000 rural areas in India. These kiosks will include PCs and tablets for people to go online and shop, and will also act as collection points for packages. A FINO agent at the kiosk will login and help people shop for products across a wide range of categories including speakers, juicers, solar lanterns, diner sets, cameras and mobile phones among others. Snapdeal s Kunal Bahl believes that by tapping into the rural market, the company will be able to reach around 5-10 crore new customers in the next three years. Also Read - E-commerce rules draft dos and dont’s: No more flash sales on phones, other goods and more
Snapdeal isn t the only company looking to tap into the Indian rural market. Amazon India is reported to be in talks with the government to improve the Indian Postal service, and also use to ramp up its delivery mechanism to within 24 hours anywhere within the country. Flipkart s Sachin Bansal too was recently quoted as saying that the company was in talks with the government to roll out better connectivity in rural areas, which would boost e-commerce in these areas.
Snapdeal has been on a roll recently, having raised $627 million (approximately Rs 3,845 crore) from Japan-based Softbank. The company said that it would be using this investment to ramp up its supply chain and technology efforts. It will also increase its fulfillment centers to 30 cities.
The Indian e-commerce industry is booming with Gartner claiming that the market will touch $6 billion in 2015, a 70 percent increase over 2014 revenue of $3.5 billion. In the next four to five years, experts claim that the market would be worth close to $70 billion. The number of online shoppers too is on a rise, and is expected to touch 40 million in the next two years, from the current 25 million.