In what was rather inevitable, Flipkart has responded to Indian Government’s rather ad-hoc announcement and roll-out of largely anti-ecommerce rules. According to a report from Reuters, Flipkart had written to the country’s industries department earlier this month, wherein company CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the rules required the company to assess “all elements” of its business operations, according to a person privy to the communication.
Redesigning numerous elements of our technology systems to ensure that we can validate and evidence our compliance, in such a compressed period of time, has caused us to divert significant resources.Krishnamurthy wrote in the letter.
The new rules were announced on December 26th and took almost everyone from the technology and startup ecosystem by surprise. The surprise also arose from the fact, that a rather pro-development current BJP Government, which has brought in schemes like ‘Startup India’, was behind this legislation. Most have commented negatively on the rules, alleging that this could be more of an election gimmick to attract small shop owners and SMEs in the smartphone industry.
Krishnamurthy’s lettter also said the regulations could cause “significant customer disruption” if the deadline for compliance wasn’t extended.
Flipkart is not the only which has written to the Indian Government. Amazon told Reuters last week it had written to the Indian government to seek an extension of four months. With more than 400,000 sellers and “hundreds of thousands of transactions” daily, Amazon said it needed the time to understand the policy.
While there have been no official statements from either Flipkart, Amazon or the Industries department, sources from within the Government have said that it is highly unlikely for the Government to extend the deadline.
Such has been the impact of the new eCommerce rules, that the US Government too intervened indirectly earlier. The Government has conveyed to Indian officials, to protect Walmart and Amazon’s investments within the country. Both combined have invested close to $23 Billion in the eCommerce sector alone.