India e-commerce market to cross Rs46,000 crore by December end

Barring few services such as online ticketing, Indian consumers aren't shopping online. Large numbers of surfers use the Internet to look for information about the product or service they want to buy followed by a physical visit to a shop for buying

Kolkata: Fuelled by the sustained growth of the online travel industry, the Indian e-commerce market will gallop at an impressive growth rate of 47% to over Rs46,000 crore in the 2011 calendar year, reports PTI.

"This growth is primarily driven by the online travel industry, which contributes 76% to the total net commerce industry in India today," a report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said.

The Internet commerce industry in India has seen a manifold increase in the last couple of years, with the total market size increasing from Rs19,688 crore by the end of 2009 to an estimated Rs31,598 crore in 2010.

By the end of 2011, the net commerce market size is expected to grow by 47% and touch Rs46,520 crore, the study by the industry body said.

Comprising about 81% of the total e-commerce in the country, the online travel market, which includes booking rail and air tickets, hotel accommodations and tour packages, is estimated to grow by 50% and touch Rs37,890 crore by December 2011.

In the travel portfolio, which was worth Rs14,953 crore in 2009, domestic air travel contributed 63%, followed by railway tickets (28%).

Others, such as international air travel (Rs548 crore), hotel bookings (Rs308 crore), bus tickets (Rs294 crore), tour packages (Rs86 crore) and travel insurance (Rs52 crore), contributed the balance 9% of the total online travel market.

Another area that has shown significant growth is the financial services market, such as online insurance payments and transactions through trading accounts, which grew from Rs1,540 crore to an estimated Rs 2,000 crore during the one-year period ending December 2010.

Comprising 8% of the e-commerce market, this sector is expected to grow by 34% and touch Rs2,650 crore this calendar year.

The report also highlights that other areas like digital downloads and e-retailing are showing promise and growing rapidly.

These sectors are predicted to grow by 62% and touch Rs1,100 crore and Rs2,700 crore, respectively, this year.

E-tailing, which includes purchases of durable products such as electronic items, home and kitchen appliances, as well as personal items like apparels and jewellery, constitutes 8% of the overall e-commerce market in the country.

Bullish on the growth prospects of the online market, the report, however, observed that in the last few years, online spending has been skewed toward specific categories such as travel or certain products in e-tailing.

"This behaviour has evolved recently and is expected to blanket different kinds of products and services purchased over the Internet and mobile networks. While online travel will continue to comprise a major proportion of the overall market, e-tailing and digital downloads could experience a high growth," it noted.

According to the study, around 7.4 million people in the country bought products over the Internet in 2009.

"Barring few services such as online ticketing, broadly speaking, Indian consumers aren't shopping online. Large numbers of surfers use the Internet to look for information about the product or service they want to buy followed by a physical visit to a shop for buying," it observed.

The IAMAI report was compiled based on primary research among Internet users in 15 cities, as well as secondary research for triangulating the findings from external sources.

User under attack from spammers

An increasing number of spammers have attacked the website, owned by Equitymaster Agora Research Pvt Ltd. This jammed website became reachable only after 1.30pm on Monday, which provides equity research and investment advisory services, said that its website has come under attack and will not be available till all the issues are resolved.

In an email, Rahul Goel, chief executive, Equitymaster, said, the company invests a lot of time and resources to ensure that its services are not compromised by ever-increasing online attacks.

"But this time the online attack is on a huge scale, much larger than what specialists thought could ever hit us. The only purpose of this attack, however, is to jam our website so that valued members like you are unable to access it. All your personal information (including email ID) is completely safe and secure," he added.

Mr Goel said that the company is working with its partners to resolve the issueat the earliest and till then its site will not became accessible only after 1.30pm on Monday.


Under-recoveries of OMCs may go up to Rs98,000 crore: IIFL

With the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa continuing, oil prices are expected to flare up, which would add to the burden of oil marketing companies, India Infoline research analyst Prayesh Jain opined

Mumbai: If the average crude oil prices continue to remain at $100 per barrel in the coming months, total under-recoveries for the oil marketing companies (OMCs) will go up to Rs98,000 crore in FY11-12, reports PTI quoting a report by a brokerage firm IIFL.

With crude oil prices touching $100 per barrel mark in February, the under-recoveries for FY10-11 is expected to touch Rs 72,000-crore, the report said.

"Considering a situation that there will be no change in crude oil prices and that it would continue at an average of $100 per barrel, the total under-recoveries for FY11-12 would increase to Rs98,000 crore," India Infoline (IIFL) research analyst Prayesh Jain said.

For the period April-December 2010, the gross under-recoveries of OMCs were Rs47,000 crore based on average crude oil price of $80 per barrel.

However, so far in Q4 FY10-11, crude oil prices have averaged at $101 per barrel, which would result in gross under-recoveries of about Rs25,000 for Q4 FY10-11, the report said.

The unrest in the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries could further push the crude prices up, Mr Jain said.

The profitability and cash flows for OMCs will continue to be strained on account of uncertainty on future subsidy sharing pattern, he said.

"Predictability of earnings for oil marketing companies has always been a difficult proposition considering high degree of uncertainty on subsidy sharing mechanism. We expect the government to increase their sharing to 50% for the current fiscal. A decision on subsidy sharing formula will result in better earnings visibility for oil marketing companies, which will enable them to plan their cash flows better," Mr Jain said.


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