International brands looking to enter the vast and lucrative Indian market often find themselves stumped by a lack of transparency across the retail spectrum. And that keeps them from tapping into a large and unexplored consumer base while also keeping the consumers from the advantages of global products.
To ease the entry of these international brands while also ensuring that consumers get access to branded and authentic merchandise, India’s e-commerce poster by Flipkart is collaborating with Viacom 18 for the licensing of three large brands – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spongebob Squarepants and Peanuts. The three brands are only the first step along what Flipkart hopes will become a portal for retailers from abroad, to easily connect with sellers across the country.
The move also aims to alleviate issues related with sales reporting and product quality that often hound the entry of foreign brands into the Indian market. The association with Flipkart will not only help in taking care of these issues but also offer foreign companies unique insights into merchandising and sales, courtesy Flipkart’s vast experience in the field.
As per Manish Maheshwari, VP and head – Seller Ecosystem at Flipkart,
It gives us great pride to introduce a concept like this for the first time in India where a global player can connect with Flipkart and have the product licensed across any number of sellers they want.
Through this online licensing concept, we want to simplify this process by connecting international brands with the top-performing sellers on our platform, giving the brands the power to keep track of product sales as well as quality.
Flipkart thus, would act as a bridge that would connect international brands with eligible sellers. Not only would the move increase its reach in the market, but would also expand the company’s own ecosystem, bringing it into contact with a much greater pool of sellers and brands. It goes without saying, that the move will also open a lot of opportunities for retailers all around while also increasing the choice available to the customer in various verticals.
Interestingly and notably, a few startups in India did try to get into a similar genre — merchandising and licensing. The most known of them all was Bluegape, which despite a decent run and substantial backing, got involved in legal tussles over trademarks, and had to ultimately shut down.
However, considering the vast experience which Flipkart has amassed and the investor money it has, this could well be the first time India might witness a full-fledged, brand licensing model and get international brands delivered to doorstep.