candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, laid out a broad economic
policy for India on Thursday that encouraged family-owned businesses to
embrace technology and competition.
Speaking at a
gathering of the Confederation of All India Traders in New Delhi, Modi,
who has been a vocal supporter of small business in the past, said small
traders should adapt to a changed marketplace by improving the quality
of their goods, so they could work with large online retailers, rather
than fear the e-commerce market.
"We should not worry about the challenges from global trade," Modi said.
a pragmatic perspective, he has to take decisions in the broader
national interests if he is talking as a prime ministerial candidate,"
Sujan Hajra, chief economist and executive director of institutional
equity at Anand Rathi Financial Services in Mumbai told the New York
Times. "He cannot be opposed to big-format, organised domestic retail
and e-commerce because that is the reality today."
Prominent players in the e-commerce space welcomed Narendra Modi's stance for pushing for the use of technology in retail.
of Smile Group Harish Bahl said: "We have been appealing to the
government to create the right policies for growth of the e-commerce
industry, which will enable access to foreign capital and allow us to
source at scale from small and medium businesses from across the
"While we still await some decision from the current
government, we are hopeful and very happy to Modi articulate our views
on the subject and thankful for his support".
Modi made a strong
pitch for usage of technology to boost commercial activities in the
country and to overcome the fear of global challenges.
will further push the growth of the retail sector and not dislodge it
and Modi has put this in the correct perspective. The restriction on the
entry of foreign direct investment into the market will limit the
potential of the industry in both the short and long terms," CEO of
Yebhi.com Manmohan Agarwal said.
Over the last few months
e-commerce players have been urging the government to allow FDI in the
sector to enable the industry to access foreign capital and expertise.
players consisting of mostly first-generation entrepreneurs have
underlined the need to remove sector-based barriers in business citing
need to enable inflow of foreign capital, expertise and knowledge that
will propel the Indian e-commerce industry into its next phase of
growth.Written with agency inputs