Consultations begin on drafting e-comm policy

The newly renamed department of promotion of industry and internal trade has started consulting various stakeholders on drafting an e-commerce policy.

The department has started consulting e-commerce companies, IT industry body, payment companies and other tech companies as part of the exercise, sources said. But some of the e-commerce players said that they were still waiting for the meeting with the department officials. It has not consulted retail entities or retail industry bodies either.

Insurers dance to new tunes to lure millennials

Why should insurance companies conduct a marathon run or a zumba dance event? At a time when insurance agents are becoming passé, especially among millennials, insurance companies are trying out different ways to reach out to youngsters and be relevant for them.

Digitization of MSME to become a $10 billion market

Offering digital services to MSMEs is a market that has a potential to grow exponentially in the coming years. Studies find that this market will grow at a CAGR of 50 per cent for the next five years to touch $10 billion from $1.5 billion last year.

Greater adoption by more number of MSMEs and increased spending by them for digital services, including online sales, payments, lending, logistics, advertisements and SaaS are set to grow. According to RedSeer Consulting, as of 2018 three million or just 6 per cent of the MSMEs had adopted digital services.

MSME remains a focus sector for government

Though the government continued to dole out incentives for the micro small and medium enterprises in the budget, there seems to be a gap between what the government has been offering and what MSMEs have been receiving. 

Among the key announcements made for the MSMEs, GST registered SME units will get two per cent interest rebate on incremental loan of Rs one crore. The requirement of sourcing from SMEs by government enterprises has been increased to 25 per cent. Of this, the material to the extent of at least 3 per cent will be sourced from women owned SMEs.

Limited awareness among SMEs restricts growth of online lending platforms

Online lending platforms have not still made significant inroads into the SME sector as lower awareness about the platforms and lower user satisfaction is keeping the growth restricted.

Digital lending platforms like Indifi, Capital Float and NeoGrowth Credit have an addressable market of $200 billion for providing short-term credit for around 60 million MSMEs and the size of the opportunity is $20 -30 billion if one takes only the digitally-savvy SMEs. However, the online lenders have not been able to make a headway into the SME market, finds RedSeer consulting. 

Muthoot wants to take chit fund pan-India, reach out to millennials and executives

Despite being a convenient product offering the benefits of savings and credit, chit fund has hardly penetrated among the youngsters and still remains an old-world financial instrument. Muthoot Pappachan Chits wants to reach out to the millennials and corporate executives by offering digitized service. It aims at becoming a pan-India player in a highly unorganised segment with a few organised regional players.

Gold demand marginally down in 2018

India’s gold demand for 2018 was marginally do­wn at 760.4 tonnes in 2018 against 771.2 tonnes in the previous year. Both je­w­ellery and investment dem­and were down in 2018 as well as in Q4 of the calendar year. 

Jewellery demand in In­d­ia for 2018 was down by one per cent at 598 tonnes as compared to 601.9 ton­n­es in 2017 and the investment demand was down by 4 per cent at 162.4 tonnes against 169.3 tonnes in the previous year.

Central bank gold buying at highest level since 1970s

Net purchases of gold by different central banks in 2018 touched the highest level since fiat currencies came into being in 1970s. Central bank net purchases in 2018 were 74 per cent higher than 2017.

In 2018, the banks made a net purchase of 651.5 tonnes against 374.8 tonnes in 2017. With this, banks and global financial institutions hold nearly 34,000 tonnes of gold, as per the data from World Gold Council.

E-comm biggies have a date with disruption

As deadline to comply with the new FDI norms ended on Thursday, seller entities owned by the marketplaces will no longer be there on the e-commerce platforms. But private labels will remain. The new regime will make supply chain more complicated by creating new vendor entities. Ultimately, the cash burn by the e-commerce entities will go up.