- Meenakshi Kumar |
Reliance Industries is set to launch its own business-to-consumer marketplace that will sell everything from food to fashion. The hybrid online-to-offline venture will take advantage of the synergies between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Retail’s stores. Reliance Retail is planning a business-to-business marketplace as part of its comprehensive omni-channel strategy that will enable large suppliers and distributors to carry out business with millions of small traders and kirana stores.
In the meantime Reliance has started withdrawing its own brands of apparels, shoes and lifestyle products from rival marketplaces. Reliance wants to create exclusivity for global as well as its own brands to attract consumers to its portal. Reliance Industries has around 50 joint ventures or master franchisee arrangements with international brands some in fashion sector. These include Marks & Spencer, Burberry, Steve Madden, Kate Spade, Diesel, Canali, Furla, Jimmy Choo, Emporio Armani. These brands have been selling through Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, Amazon, and Tata Cliq. However, Reliance is now removing them from these platforms to create exclusivity for its upcoming marketplace. Reliance Trends and Reliance Brands will expedite the phasing-out process from non-Reliance marketplaces in the coming weeks.
The company has big plans for the B2C marketplace too. Reliance already operates online fashion platform Ajio.com, which also sells global and Indian brands outside of the group’s stable. Reliance has an edge over foreign-funded players such as Amazon and Flipkart. The two FDI-funded online marketplaces can only act as technology platforms that connect independent sellers and buyers. They cannot sell, own or control inventory. However, an Indian firm with no foreign investment can exercise control over inventory, thereby controlling pricing, quality and speed of delivery — key elements for the success of any e-commerce firm.