Today in Tech: E-Commerce in Small Towns, Nasscom on Exports and More

NS Ramnath
Published: 12, Feb 2013

I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email:

E-Commerce in smaller towns In July 2011, my colleague Rohin Dharmakumar looked at the booming ecommerce firms and argued that the demand for their services is being driven by smaller towns. Here's a relevant quote:

Indiaplaza’s Vaitheeswaran recounts a letter he got from a lady customer in Mysore 10 years ago, in which she thanked him for shipping her a book of her choice. “I would never have found this book even in Mysore’s largest book store, which is why I would reserve my major book purchases for my trips to my cousin in Bangalore. But you have removed the discrimination between my privileged cousin in Bangalore and me. We now have access to the same books,” she wrote.
“The word she used — ‘discrimination’ — is a very powerful one, but one just as relevant today,” he says.

That market continues to drive ecommerce even today. Economic Times reports that for many e-commerce firms get half their revenues from small towns. For Myntra it's 55%, for Jabong, it's 50% and for Indiatimes' it's 40%. If the number surprises you, it should surprise you for being too small. The total population of the top 6 metroes (even if you consider national capital region as a metro) is 65 million, not even a percentage of India's population. The bigger market lies really outside. And the bottleneck there is infrastructure. As that gets better, expect the contribution from smaller towns to grow.


IT/BPO in 2013

Nasscom said India's IT-BPO exports is likely to grow 14% in the next fiscal year. Here are some interesting graphs from a presentation it made today in Mumbai





Also of interest

  • Bill Gates does an AMA | Reddit
  • Google finally offers Nexus 4 wireless charging orb | Gigaom
  • Competing in a digital world: Four lessons from the software industry | McKinsey Quarterly
  • Yandex Overtakes Bing as World’s Fourth Search Engine | WSJ
  • Bill Gurley: The sage of Silicon Valley | Fortune
  • Why Apple Is Working on an iWatch and Not iGlasses | NYTimes
  • Nielsen boosts TCS contract to $2.5 billion | Reuters



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Today in Tech: Non-linearity in Indian IT; Nasscom's dilemma; The No-Ego Rule