'Paytm to become biggest marketplace in India'

'Paytm to become biggest marketplace in India'

Plans to double sellers from 1.5 lakh to 5 lakh within year

'Paytm to become biggest marketplace in India'

Powered by strategic initiatives and simply by virtue of being a pure play marketplace, Paytm is set to become India’s biggest online marketplace sooner, rather than later.

“Within the next two months to a year, Paytm will be the biggest online marketplace by all parameters, including revenues, orders, customers as well as sellers. As for some parameters, we are already leading from the front, within no time, we will displace the marketplace numbers of other online portals including Flipkart and Amazon,” said Paytm AVP (Business) Sudhanshu Gupta.

The company, which is organising a seller meet for 200 sellers in the city on Friday, plans to double the sellers on its platform from the current 1.5 lakh to 5 lakh, within the year.

“As a pure play marketplace, our strength is the seller. And, five lakh sellers is the best way to compete with 10 warehouses, as we don’t intend to compete in the retail business,” said Paytm AVP (Business) Amit Bagaria.

While the company continues to build its seller ecosystem, it has launched certain initiatives to facilitate the same. Paytm Force, a team, which by the end of this year is set to constitute 3,000 ‘eCommerce Specialists’, will enbale onboarding sellers by bridging the knowledge gap in terms of catalouging, packaging, facilitating payments, returns and reimbursements.

“Sellers can connect with the eCommerce Specialists on Paytm’s other initiative PaytmGoBig.com, which is the single largest destination for anyone who wants to sell online,” said Gupta.

“A hyperlocal O2O (offline-to-online) setup is also being enabled,” said Gupta. “Electronics, especially large appliances, are best suited for local delivery considering the cost, time and risk factors. A marketplace model, therefore, is much better equipped to handle it,” added Bagaria. The company embarked on the O2O model 4-5 months ago with mobile phones, and is set to expand into even bus tickets.

To tackle one of the major pain-points for eCommerce, logistics, the company has set up 19 third-party fulfillment centres, a number that is set to touch 50, by the end of this year.
However, “Less than five per cent of our orders are COD, and this works in our favour, both in terms of logistics and returns,” said Gupta. “When the returns are low, it further encourages the seller to work with us as well,” he added.

With nearly 150 million customers, 1.5 lakh sellers and maximum pin code coverage, “GMV is a skewed way to look at how well an eCommerce company is doing,” reasons Bagaria.

The company claims to have grown 4X in the last three months and intends to remain on the same trajectory in the coming months. These plans are augmented by the several exculusive launches lined up for this year.

“We are soon going to bring in some gadgets, furniture and apparel brands, which are not available in India,” said Bagaria.