New e-commerce FDI policy: BPL, TCL, Vu explore ways to push sales

New Delhi: Online exclusive brands such as Vu, TCL’s iFFalcon, Kodak, BPL, Thomson and Panasonic-owned Sanyo are busy in giving the finishing touches to the strategy to bypass the new rules for the e-commerce sector. They are reportedly setting up their own digital platforms and start selling through several online stores to get past curbs around entering into exclusive agreements with sellers, says an Economic Times report.

The financial daily quoted unidentified senior industry executives as saying that the revised rules are expected to leave a short-term impact on sales of these companies when the new guidelines come into effect in February, till they are able to comply with the regulation.

Amazon-exclusive BPL’s COO Manmohan Ganesh told the publication that although the brand is awaiting more clarity on the issues, the company may consider becoming a seller by itself on the platform or starting offline sales in a restrained manner as an alternative plan. On Amazon, BPL claims to be one of the largest sellers of 32-inch televisions and side-by-side refrigerators.

Also Read: New FDI rules for e-commerce likely to hurt job growth, investment

The report further mentioned that Flipkart-exclusive iFFalcon is actively planning to start its own brand e-commerce marketplace or be present on both Amazon and Flipkart to skip the exclusivity clause. Senior executives of TCL and Flipkart are likely to meet in China next week to take a decision on the matter.

Emphasising that iFFalcon brand will remain online, a TCL India spokesperson told the daily that the firm is yet to decide the future course of action.

Many industry watchers say the latest e-commerce norms are aimed at safeguarding the interest of small stores as they had complained about a huge loss of business to adverse competition from e-commerce giants such as Flipkart and Amazon.

The report quoted Panasonic India CEO Manish Sharma as saying that the firm’s online brand Sanyo is already compliant with the latest foreign direct investment guidelines as it is present in multiple retail outlets.

Vu, which had concentrated on digital space in the last few years to push sales, is now ready to deploy an omnichannel strategy to expand the business. Vu Televisions CEO Devita Saraf told the business daily that customers also want to “see products online and offline and then buy as per convenience”.