On Thursday, when ecommerce giant Amazon kickstarts the four-day Smbhav Summit to highlight its commitment to the Indian SMB community, a section of retailers will launch a counter event called Asmbhav to protest against the business policies of large etailers.
Representatives and supporters of over 6,00,000 small Indian traders, distributors, and merchants, both offline and online will take part in the event.
Asmbhav, which translates to impossible in English, goes live on April 15, 2021 and is expected to highlight issues traders face while trying to sell on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon.
The summit is being organised by an Indian Sellers Collective which includes organisations such as All India Online Vendors Association (AIVOA); All-India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA); Public Response Against Helplessness and Action for Redressal (PRAHAR); All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPD); Federation of All India Distributors Associations (FAIDA) and FMCG Distributors & Traders Association, Delhi.
In a statement, Arvinder Khurana, President, AIMRA, explained how “illegal and monopolistic” partnerships between etailers and leading mobile brands hurt local traders.
“Being Indian, our mobile retailers deserve a level and equitable playing field. This is today just a pipe dream because of the nefarious practices adopted by the big foreign retailers operating platforms. Firstly, on the one hand, these global retailers directly tie up with leading mobile brands and on the other engage their own select resellers, who are none other than their related parties, to sell these brands on an exclusive basis,” he said.
“Such tie-ups are both illegal and monopolistic. Due to these malpractices thousands of retailers across India are facing unsurvivable losses and are facing threats to their livelihoods. We appeal to the government to not allow foreign retailers to run marketplaces since these companies as their real intent and agenda is to run a retail operation in the name of a marketplace,” Khurana added.
In March this year, the government invited ecommerce entities as well as industry bodies for consultation on the reworked draft ecommerce policy, which traders expect will provide enough safeguards and protection to their businesses.