Mega Drama on the line

The mega sales by Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal for the past two days made me muse over a frustrating experience we came across exactly a year ago during similar event. The way the customers are misled and the filthy cunning strategies these companies execute are terribly disturbing me.

Apart from irritating promotional emails and messages, their colourful full page ads in newspapers greet me now and then in mornings only to make my day an another one in hell.

In this dire win win situation where staying relevant to the business and consumer needs is the statement of the day every day, these popular rather cunning companies if unchecked will go on a rampage across e commerce platform.

I can quote one relevant example for the above statement. Our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi nationalized banks in 1969 during which private banks were dancing according to their own commercial interests. It was only after nationalization, banks transformed themselves from profit seeking organizations into providing financial services to all which eventually led few vital financial credits to flow into neglected sectors like agriculture and small and medium businesses. Thereafter, banks played a vital role in development of our country and strict government control over their policies is one of the reasons for our robust financial systems.

The reason why I wanted to bring this concept into the current ecommerce scenario is that a fair play is not visible in this sector. The fate of small grocery stores, brick and mortar retail stores, vegetable markets is already doomed in urban areas. By organising such a discount sales and executing unethical strategies during these sales does not look good in the long run. I am not against e commerce and I strongly support digital revolution across all fields but I strongly recommend government to take complete control of e commerce by nationalizing this budding businesses.

There are hundreds of entrepreneurs who dream big and work hard towards their goals. Flipkart and Snapdeal were two among many of such companies whose success is inspiration to budding entrepreneurs and enviable to some others. But their overambitious desire to gain market share and expand business into all contours is not good for a country like India.

When PCs and printers were invented, type writers were shut down and dumped. LED/LCD televisions replaced vintage square shaped boxes. However, for the love of type writers and old TV sets, did we prevent PCs and LED/LCD TVs from occupying space in offices and homes? No we didn’t.

PCs, printers, LED/LCD TVs and several inventions and advancements changed as well as improved our life style and brought some kind of comfort. In order to save small grocery stores and retail outlets from extinction, stopping e commerce is really a bad idea in today’s world where default is digital. Instead, we have to control them for level play on the field. Setting up a regulating authority by Ministry of commerce would serve the purpose of level play and lessens the frustration among customers. If e commerce is seen as a service, as explained above, the complete nationalization of e commerce would do the needful.

There is a difference between the two words legal and ethical. Using loopholes in Indian laws, the path Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are treading is legal but not ethical. After all, man needs money and strives to do anything to fulfill his greed.

Feature Image by Christopher Sessums CC BY 2.0

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