E-commerce Entrepreneurship in Kashmir

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By: Rais Dar

The world is constantly adapting to new ways of living a good life, so does our Kashmir. The advent of internet and arrival of e-commerce technology in our life has changed our shopping experience. We no longer have to battle vehicular traffic on roads, and wait in queues for long hours. We have been empowered to shop anywhere just at the click of a button – thanks to the ecommerce technology.

Ecommerce in India isn’t that old. In fact, it was early years of 1st decade of 21th century when a few ecommerce companies kick started their business operations. However, they failed to convert their newly launched startups into unicorns as there wasn’t sufficient market demand, and means of shopping available for people.

Entrepreneurs were afraid of tapping this futuristic industry as information technology infrastructure, and smartphone availability to the common people was rare. So they had to wait a few years until masses became aware of using internet, and their smartphones.

It was back in the year 2008 when FLIPKART became a buzz. Although company had already began its operations in the preceding year. It was a courageous activity as company’s founders [SachinBansal & BinnyBansal] had to go through a lot of hardships in initial years of their business endeavour.

It took some time for FLIPKART to cut through lots of hurdles alone, and get to the success. As people became able to gain access to quality internet services, and advanced smartphone technology, new companies jumped in to tap the growing ecommerce market in India. New startups in the line of e-commerce business are constantly coming up to tap the vast forming niches. There are now online platforms for B2B, B2C, and other commercial activities.

The situation for ecommerce entrepreneurship in Kashmir isn’t satisfactory at all. It is an unattractive investment for our potential entrepreneurs as internet shutdowns are common affair in Kashmir. Many native internet entrepreneurs were reported to have shut down their business operations as a result of prolonged internet curbs. It’s a serious problem that seeks attention of permanent and reliable solutions.

Despite constant internet problems, there is a growing demand for ecommerce products, and services in the valley. A majority of local population, especially youth, have become capable of shopping online as they have gained access to the knowledge and use of advanced IT technology – such as personal computers, smartphones, and other means. That is why there is no better time than today for our youth to embrace ecommerce entrepreneurship in Kashmir.

They can find plenty of business ideas for their new ecommerce startups. Almost all sectors of our economy await attention of ecommerce entrepreneurs. The backbone of our economy, tourism offers a countless opportunities. Our young and potential entrepreneurs can launch smartphone applications to help tourists hire tourist guides, book hotels for accommodation, cab services, car rentals to drive around local tourists attractions.

Our information technology sector direly needs programmers, web designers & developers to help create portals for local agencies, hotel chains, restaurants, décor& clothing retailers, export locally grown dry fruits, art & handicrafts. They can find work either in companies or be self-employed like WIMrush, an online tool helping your create online stores for cheap.

Then there is our dry fruit industry where potential entrepreneurs can spot plenty of products for their ecommerce business – almonds, walnuts, saffron, etc. These are highly sought-after products nationwide, and also worldwide. You can launch online portals to ensure export of dry fruits to other states, and countries. Kashmir Box is doing a great job in this line of business.

In conclusion, there happen to be so many attractive niches in our ecommerce industry. But you have to come forward to embrace ecommerce entrepreneurship. Your results will be good as long as you have the courage to ride the tide.

  • The writer is a freelance business analyst. He has years of ecommerce experience with the likes of Amazon, FLIPKART and can be reached at [email protected]

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