BENGALURU: Among the measures proposed under the government’s new draft Consumer Protection Act (E-commerce rules), 2020, provisions such as a ban on flash sales and cross-selling by these platforms have drawn the most attention. However, Amar Nagaram, CEO of Myntra, one of India’s leading online fashion retail platforms, believes that it is sales events, as well as investments in brands, that have been able to spur the growth of thousands of indigenous artisans and SMBs.
Speaking to this publication, Nagaram said that Myntra’s investments in private labels and brands is aimed at “complementing their growth and not competing with rivals”. Myntra owns or has stakes in over 20 per cent of the brands that are currently being sold on its platform. Nagaram said that the US retail behemoth Walmart, which backs Flipkart and Myntra, is bullish on India’s fashion retail segment and will continue investments across the sector.
Flipkart acquired a 7.8 per cent stake in Aditya Birla Fashion Retail earlier this year for Rs 1,500 crore, in addition to picking a minority stake in Arvind Fashions, which has a portfolio of global brands. The Myntra CEO, while describing the recent proposal on e-commerce rules by the commerce ministry as a policy issue, said that the sales events have given a tremendous opportunity to small indigenous brands to access wider markets through established online players.
“We have onboarded 500 brands during the pandemic last year, indicative of the fact that many businesses are now adopting an omni-channel approach to reach out to consumers,” he noted. On Wednesday, the Flipkart-owned company announced the 14th edition of its flagship event, End of Reason Sale (EORS), slated to be held between July 3 and July 8, with the participation of 3,000 brands. Rival Amazon has also announced that its Small Business Days Sales will be held from July 2-4, with cashback offers for users who avail its payment services.
Nagaram pointed out that last year’s sales event was able to help many fashion-led businesses come out of their Covid blues by adopting digital channels. On the consumer end, the top executive said that there was a marked shift in consumer behavior, with the demand for high-end products growing over the past two months.
“On an average, the basket size (per consumer) has not gone up... However, there is a marked variation in shopping behaviours now. We have seen a 130 per cent growth in Athleisure merchandise since last year. The demand for beauty products has also increased. In terms of new users, there is a 2-fold growth since last year. But the industry is yet to reach to its pre-Covid level in terms of Gross Merchandise value (GMV),” he added