In an interview to CIO Sriharsha Majety, CEO and Co-founder, Swiggy, says 2016 might turn out to be a year of consolidation, and that he expects a focus on profitability and innovation. Excerpts from the interview:
On Why the Bubble Won't Burst
I don't quite agree with the supposition of a bubble. Yes, some sectors are crowded but that is natural to any sector in a stage of evolution. While some experts talk about bubbles in the valuations quoted, however, if we look at the west (Amazon) or east (Alibaba) even the public markets have reposed faith in e-commerce models. Even within India while the GMV/revenues for the e-commerce players has scaled exponentially--the valuation has scaled linearly. That said, there might, of course, be a tighter noose in terms of funding, going forward, across different sectors in e-commerce. In 2015, PE and VCs placed small bets on a number of companies and sectors. They will now start to double-down on the companies which have out-performed the rest. In terms of the quantum of funds likely to be invested, I wouldn't expect 2016 to be much different from 2015.
The Next Big Thing in 2016
I would expect hyperlocal services to take off on a much bigger scale. The year 2011-12 was a break-out year for e-commerce goods, 2013-14 for the cab industry and 2015-16 is positioned to be the same for hyperlocal--groceries, food etcetera. Logistics and payments are critical for e-commerce and I would expect some big innovations there as well. Product innovation is also likely to be a big theme, especially those which are likely to enable e-commerce, for example, there is still no unifying product which connects user experiences across different platforms.
Beating Competition in 2016
We are much different from any of our competitors in our business model. We believe in owning the complete customer experience and hence invest in a delivery fleet. We are also increasingly integrating with our partners to provide a reliable experience. We also expect to add other services to cater to the diverse need of customers. And our focus on execution has been top-class so far. Doing different is not the only way to standout, doing right by your customer also goes a long way.
The Year Ahead
I think 2016 might turn out to be a year of consolidation, even in some of the more mature sectors. I also expect a focus on profitability to be another key theme, apart from growth. On the investment side, I expect similar or even larger investments. There is much room for innovation, and newer players and sectors would continue to emerge.
Source: Computerworld India
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