India is expected to overtake the US as the world’s second largest e-retail market by the year 2034, says a recent report. A growing millennial population, a surge in internet penetration and growing adoption of mobile phones are likely to drive India’s e-commerce growth. The sector is expected to grow at the rate of 28 per cent per year from 2016 to 2020.
The Global Payments report by payment processing company Worldpay says that roughly 350 million Indian citizens are already online, and the number is expected to nearly double to 600 million by 2020. According to Google’s ‘Next Billion Users’ team, three Indians are coming online every second and the government is also taking initiatives to promote digital finance in the country.
“worldpay expects India will overtake the US as the world’s second largest e-commerce market by 2034. The potential opportunity for merchants is enormous, but they must stake their claim today to win over India’s commerce-hungry population. Leading companies are already making their move on the Indian market, including, Amazon, Alibaba, and Flipkart,” says the report.
Mobiles will be the driving force behind e-commerce growth and young people shopping on smartphones are driving a sharp rise in online spend, states the report.
“The National Optical Network, originally scheduled for completion in 2013, will be a major determinant in India’s eCommerce growth. A number of delays have slowed the project down, but trial roll-outs are currently underway and if successful the next few years will result in wider access to fast internet access for millions of Indian consumers,” says the study.
Indian consumers continue to prefer cash on delivery when it comes to online purchases, and while their confidence in cards and sharing data is rising, merchants must provide cash-on-delivery (COD) option to attract local shoppers. The logistics of delivering goods are also a major consideration, as the postal infrastructure is severely underdeveloped in rural areas. Most e-retailers have depended on third party delivery firms until now, but as the market grows and extends beyond city centres many companies will take matters into their own hands; managing deliveries themselves to ensure a reliable service, predicts Worldpay’s report.
India is currently one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world and the citizens of the country prefer COD as it account for 26 per cent of the share followed by bank transfers. Underdeveloped payment infrastructure of the country is a reason why cash is more popular and about 75 per cent of the Indian population does not have a way to pay online. However, cash is likely to decline in favour of other payment methods as the infrastructure develops, according to Worldpay.
The report also predicts that the mobile wallet market of India will reach $5.1 billion by 2020
Ikat, or ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric.
In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered to create a new pattern and the yarns dyed again with another colour. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik the resist is applied to the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth. Because the surface design is created in the yarns rather than on the finished cloth, in ikat both fabric faces are patterned.
A characteristic of ikat textiles is an apparent "blurriness" to the design. The blurriness is a result of the extreme difficulty the weaver has lining up the dyed yarns so that the pattern comes out perfectly in the finished cloth. The blurriness can be reduced by using finer yarns or by the skill of the craftsperson. Ikats with little blurriness, multiple colours and complicated patterns are more difficult to create and therefore often more expensive. However, the blurriness that is so characteristic of ikat is often prized by textile collectors.
Ikat is produced in many traditional textile centres around the world, from India to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan (where it is called "kasuri"), Africa and Latin America. Double ikats—in which both the warp and weft yarns are tied and dyed before being woven into a single textile—are relatively rare because of the intensive skilled labour required to produce them. They are produced in Okinawa islands of Japan, the village of Tenganan in Indonesia, and the villages of Puttapaka and Bhoodan Pochampally in Telangana and Gujarat in India.