India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) predicts a remarkable surge in the country’s e-commerce exports, projecting a potential rise from the current $1.2 billion to an impressive $200 billion within the next six to seven years. The DGFT, Santosh Kumar Sarangi, shared these insights at the ‘E-commerce Exports’ conference organized by Ficci, underlining the vast potential inherent in India’s e-commerce sector.
Factors Driving Growth:
1. Product Diversity and Innovation: Sarangi attributes the optimistic forecast to the substantial product diversity, ongoing product innovation, and the adeptness of Indian entrepreneurs in tailoring products to meet specific market demands. This adaptability is seen as a key driver for exponential growth in the e-commerce export sector.
2. Necessary Changes in Logistics and Policy: To realize this ambitious export target, Sarangi highlights the need for significant changes in India’s logistics management and policy framework. He emphasizes the importance of a paradigm shift in the way the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) views e-commerce exports.
Evolution of E-commerce Export Ecosystem:
1. Rapid Evolution Predicted: Sarangi envisions a rapid evolution of India’s e-commerce export ecosystem, foreseeing its pivotal role in achieving the broader national goal of $2 trillion in exports. He emphasizes the Directorate General’s commitment to initiatives aimed at facilitating e-commerce exports, in collaboration with other regulatory bodies.
2. Key Elements in E-commerce Business: Identifying four key elements in the e-commerce business—logistics, e-commerce service platforms, international payment systems, and regulatory agencies—Sarangi stresses the collective responsibility of agencies like RBI, the department of revenue, and DGFT in fostering a conducive environment for growth.
Challenges and Mindset Shift:
1. Regulatory Mindset Adjustment: Sarangi acknowledges the existing regulatory focus on traditional B2B models and calls for a shift in mindset to accommodate the evolving dynamics of e-commerce exports. He emphasizes the need for regulatory agencies to align with the changing landscape.
2. Role of Fintech: Anticipating a significant role for the fintech sector, Sarangi envisions innovative and cost-effective payment solutions that can contribute to the growth of e-commerce exports.
Awareness and Education:
1. Ethical Business Practices: Sarangi underscores the importance of creating awareness and educating exporters on conducting e-commerce business in a fair and ethical manner. He emphasizes the role of mentors in guiding potential exporters.
2. Call for Mentoring Programs: Highlighting the need for mentorship, Sarangi suggests the creation of a pool of mentors who can play a pivotal role in guiding and supporting potential exporters in India.