India’s e-commerce players are building their own ecosystems by incorporating everything from financial services to entertainment. Flipkart is launching a new lending operation, utilising its own data on customers as well as external sources. The operation tracks around 1,000 data points to gauge ability and intent to repay – to offer them credit even when they don’t have a credit history. The operation is still in a pilot basis as Flipkart has opened it up to 10,000 users only, but in two to three weeks it will be rolled out to a larger customer base.
On the other hand, Reliance Group has made several acquisitions across the media, manufacturing, tech and retail sectors. The latest acquisitions include a company that provides customer support chat services using artificial intelligence and a logistics business that enables hyper-local delivery of food and groceries. Earlier this year chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani explained how Jio, its mobile telco, and Reliance Retail would together launch a ‘new commerce’ platform, designed to benefit consumers, small retailers and producers. The Reliance ecosystem will have multiple, very powerful components that include retail, entertainment, education and financial services.