N R Narayana Murthy, Infosys’ co-founder and former Chairman has joined hands with Seattle based Amazon for an e-commerce joint venture in India. It seems, after the IT industry, Murthy has his eyes set on revolutionizing the e-commerce sector.
Catamaran Ventures, which is Murthy’s private investment firm has decided to create a new entity by forming a joint venture with Amazon’s Asia unit. This new entity will have an aim of helping the small and medium businesses in India.
The joint venture is called Taurus Business and Trade services and will be operational in major cities and towns of the country. The partnership was officially formalized in May and Murthy’s Catamaran has the majority shareholding in the new entity. Catamaran has 51% stake in the partnership as administrated by India’s foreign direct investment regulations.
The new company will be offering services that will help offline sellers and SMBs in India to get online and reap the benefits of the fast growing online customer base in the country. The company would focus on the inclusion of SMBs into the digital economy.
Amazon made an entry into the Indian market last year with its Amazon Seller Services which provides a third-party marketplace for products. Indian laws do not allow foreign retailers to sell online directly.
Catamaran has previously also made investments in Yebhi.com, which is an online fashion portal. The company is not doing so well since its two co-founders have quit in early 2014.
With a $3.2 billion worth, the Indian e-commerce is booming like never before and it seems its growth has caught the fancy of the global giants who are trying hard to reap in the fruits of this boom. Domestic companies like Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart are targeting the gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2014. GMV is a term in online retailing which is used to indicate a total sales dollar value for merchandise sold through a particular marketplace over a certain time interval.
While the domestic players are aiming growth, the international players like EBay, Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba and Rakuten are eyeing their growth. Amazon Asia is making available logistics and backend support for the venture.