Monday 4 October 2021

Confederation of Indian E-commerce announced; to bring govt, industry, consumers on one platform

An apex association of e-commerce companies has been announced under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian E-commerce (CIE) to provide a neutral voice of the industry by bringing the government, industry, policymakers and consumers on one platform. CIE, which has been formed as a trust and not-for-profit organisation, will be based out of New Delhi. Key e-commerce companies as well as retail, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and farmers associations are being invited to be active members of the CIE.

"CIE aims to provide a dedicated platform for the retail and e-commerce companies to take up economic or policy issues with the government and other relevant agencies, support to MSMEs and traditional retail, promotion of exports and access to export markets, and easing regulatory compliances for export and returns by encouraging exports," according to a statement.

In the year ending March 2021, the overall retail market shrunk by 5 per cent due to lockdown, while the e-retail market surged by 25 per cent to reach USD 38 billion. The e-commerce penetration has moved up to 4.6 per cent from 3.5 per cent last year.

A team of industry veterans have come together to build this initiative, including Amitabh Singhal (former CEO and founder of National Internet Exchange of India and past president of Internet Service Providers Association of India) and Ajay Sharma (who has around two decades of experience at India's apex business associations).

CIE has retained Venky Venkatesh, former CEO at Press Trust of India (PTI) as its strategic adviser. He brings in more than three decades of FMCG knowledge with vast experience in retail trade and media.

Technology-enabled innovations across digital payments, hyper-local logistics, analytics-driven customer engagement and digital advertisements are expected to drive growth in the sector.

"CIE will be an apex body of the industry and by the industry. CIE intends to be the neutral voice of the industry by bringing the government, industry, policymakers and consumers on one platform," the statement said.

The organisation will also build a state-level agenda by working with the state governments to support the needs of e-commerce companies and MSMEs locally.

CIE will be working closely with the state governments for integrating the MSMEs in the states with digital retail by facilitating them with the domestic and international market, it added.

The Confederation also aims to assist and build the ecosystem for the agriculture sector and promote technologies to empower the farming community.

The organisation will also undertake evidence-based, scientific policy research and advocacy, including consumer research, capacity building, thought leadership, new membership drive, and representing members' concerns and issues to the government, among others.

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