Paytm Mall, the e-commerce unit of mobile wallet firm Paytm recently raised USD 200 million from the Chinese firm and plans to hire 2000 more employees.
Despite a late entry into online retail segment, Noida-based Paytm is in no mood to let the two e-commerce giants US-headquartered Amazon and Bangalore-based domestic rival Flipkart to steal the market.
Spearheading the big e-commerce plans for Noida based Paytm is 40-year old Amit Sinha, one of the veterans at One 97 Communications, the parent firm of the mobile wallet firm.
Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall, the e-commerce unit of mobile wallet firm Paytm recently raised USD 200 million from the Chinese firm and says it plans to hire 2000 more employees by the end of this year.
“Our goal is to build India's largest commerce platform, which enables trusted partners including brands and shopkeepers in growing their business,” says Sinha, who hails from a small town of Panchet in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district.
"We are bringing their catalogs online and providing them with Paytm Mall QR codes, for consumers to scan and browse their products to place an order," adds Sinha.The Noida-based firm is targeting the offline retailers to bring them to sell online. The company also plans to start cross-border shipping of Indian brands to China on its platform.
Also popularly touted as the vehicle for Chinese behemoth Alibaba’s play in India, Paytm Mall is making every stone unturned to ensure they are on the right path to match or at best steer ahead of the two big rivals as soon as possible.
Spent almost a decade with One97
The company which was scouting for a chief executive for quite some time, finally ended the search with Sinha at the helm.Having spent almost a decade with One97 Communications, Sinha was roped in as the company's best bet for the position.
A graduate of ISM Dhanbad, Sinha started off his career with Bangalore-based IT firm Infosys as an engineer. He however left the firm soon after to pursue management from the much Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
He spent the successive few years as a consultant across PwC and Keane Consulting before joining Airtel as part of its enterprise strategy team.
It was only then that a friend suggested him the name of One97 Communications, a lesser known mobile value added services start-up, now a USD 7 billion behemoth.
He joined One97 in 2007 and led the firm’s second round of fund-raising. He was soon heading its media content business, emerging as a proactive player in the country’s telecom value added services revolution.
Till recently, he was a senior vice president of One 97 Communications before becoming the chief operating officer of Paytm Mall.
Is Paytm late to the e-commerce party?
While Paytm Mall (Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd) got launched only earlier this year, it is the new version of Paytm’s three year old e-commerce business.
While Flipkart started operations in 2007, Amazon entered India in 2013.
Ten year old into One97, Sinha asserts that that all this while, few things that have been retained by the organisation are core culture of trust, speed and execution.The aim is to take it forward from here in the e-commerce business.
“We will create a smoother discovery and buying experience for customers and empower shops to get additional revenues from new customers, who will now be able to buy their products online on our platform,” added Sinha, who also has a passion for fine arts and painting.
According to recent study by Forrester Research, Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach USD 64 billion by 2021, growing at a five year compound annual growth rate of over 31 percent.
The market is currently dominated by US-headquartered Amazon and domestic rival Flipkart.
So much so that the cut throat competition has already nearly claimed one victim – Snapdeal.Is Paytm Mall actually too late to the party, especially when the two rivals have garnered significant lead?
Sinha disagrees. According to him, most of India’s commerce still happens offline.
Paytm Mall recently launched online-to-offline (O2O) commerce platform catering to organised retail players, small merchants and brands.
“We feel there is a massive unexplored opportunity in this segment. Our business model will empower every stakeholder in the ecosystem - from brands to shopkeepers to customers. This will help us leapfrog from unorganized to online commerce,” summarizes Sinha.