The Mukesh Ambani-led company is building JioMart as a fully-fledged marketplace with a presence in all categories to take on market leaders Amazon and Flipkart, they said.
Reliance was building JioMarket as a separate platform for third-party sellers to comply with the draft e-commerce policy that proposed to prohibit market operators from having related parties or associated businesses as sellers on their platforms. JioMarket was supposed to go live before this Diwali.
“JioMarket has been designed to comply with proposed e-commerce policy standards,” said one of the executives familiar with the plans. “However, since politics is now in the backseat, Reliance wants to have a single platform – JioMart, which it will build on the scale of Amazon and Flipkart to compete with them…Having two platforms would have been difficult to evolve to compete against these big rivals,” he added.
According to media reports, the e-commerce policy has been suspended due to differences of opinion between different ministries.
JioMart has already onboarded more than 15,000 independent third-party sellers and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands that Reliance Retail had implemented over the past 3-4 months for JioMarket, with the total assortment on the platform having multiplied by 80 compared to Diwali last year.
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Until recently, Reliance Retail entities such as Reliance Smart, Reliance Digital, Trends and acquired entities were the only sellers on JioMart.
An email sent to Reliance Retail went unanswered at press time on Tuesday.
JioMart launched a month-long festive sale, offering discounts matching those of Amazon and Flipkart, some businesses by third-party sellers and D2C brands.
JioMart CEO Sandeep Varaganti said in a recent media statement that JioMart is integrating local sellers and artisans into its e-commerce, and the platform has expanded categories across segments and increased sales units. storage of more than 80 times over the previous year.
Reliance called on several talents from e-commerce players. For example, Varaganti was previously managing director of Prione Business Services, a former joint venture between Amazon and NR Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, which housed Cloudtail – one of the biggest sellers on Amazon India for several years. Prione was disbanded earlier this year.