Month: September 2015

India Looking for Business Solutions from Abroad

Those who have studied economics and history in school are well aware of the significance of the global game. All the countries that put great emphasis on mobilising their companies, products and services on a world wide scale have far more opportunities. This has lead to the overwhelming success of certain countries, and a lesser success amongst others. Which still today, is an overwhelming majority of people in the world. The policies and the approach of a country has such a deep and profound impact on the well being of a nation. It now only shows direction, but gives the foundation of resources that is divided within it’s people. But simply having those resources is not enough, they must be attempted to spread more or less equally. With balance being difficult, some countries have managed to take over such large resource quantities that even with less equality at play, they are able to succeed in many ways.

In India however, the global mindset never took off in the political sense of the world. Businesses were not pushed to make their products focus on the overseas market. This lead to much innovation, that didn’t reserve the wealth that it could have brought about. This is why India is still struggling in many ways, even though there are a huge number of success stories existing in todays world. I believe that western business management can help the country to seek this balance and create leaders that are able to take the whole country with them. To go to a direction of business mobility, one such successful company is ToriTori that is proud of itself of not setting any boundaries for itself.

The approach of the company has been a flexible business model that focuses on anything from web design, internet marketing and even foreign trade. By breaking these boundaries, they are not just able to compete in a large array of business sectors. They are also highly competent in expansion towards a limitless future, connecting the dots as they go. One thing that the business owner of ToriTori ones told me was very surprising. He was never talking about the future, but instead focuses on the now. According to him, living in this moment brings those realistic targets and concepts that are badly needed by countries such as India.

And this is just one of the wonderful stories that has shaken the country over the years. There is quite a lot of work to be done still, however hope being in the now makes it much more objective. That’s why business solutions are more and more made on a western basis, together with Indian understanding. It’s a match made in the heavens for sure!

One other interesting thing is that the slogan of ToriTori is “Japanese Thinking”. Which really makes you think. One of the most ancient and hard to understand, but brilliant cultures in this world. Check out their home page to find more insight on this.

Humble greetings from India,
Timo Holm

English Amazon Online Shopping in India & Japan

About Amazon India

Amazon.com was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as a marketplace for buyers and sellers. It is currently one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world and one of the few dot.com companies that survived the dot.com bubble burst.

Amazon entered the Indian markets in February 2012 with the launch of the local brand Junglee.com. It was a site which offered comparison of online prices to the customers and not direct purchase of items.

Amazon India, i.e., Amazon.in was launched in June 2013, thus signalling the company’s direct entry into the Indian e-commerce industry and digital marketplace.

Market in India

Amazon India initially offered movies, books, and TV shows for sale, but in just a few weeks after the launch it also started selling cameras and mobile phones. Despite the late entry of Amazon.com into the Indian e-commerce space, it became the fastest growing marketplace in terms of geographical sales. Currently, with over 25 million products being sold at Amazon.in, Amazon India has become the largest online store in the country.

The main competitors of Amazon India are Flipkart, founded by previous employees of Amazon.com; Softbank-backed Snapdeal; and Paytm, backed by Alibaba.com.

About Amazon Japan

Located at the address of Amazon.co.jp, this is one of the biggest e-commerce extensions of the Amazon.com company. Operations in Japan have started already since the November of 2000 and has become the most customer oriented store in the country. With it’s industry leading online shopping technology, it has proudly gained it’s position as one of the top Japanese websites running today. The popular website is know also available in English. Please see, Amazon Japan English site for more vital information.

The growth of Amazon India

Amazon.in entered the Indian online market with only 2 categories in 2013. However, within a period of just ten months its total selection of products stood at more than 15 million in nearly 20 categories. Since the launch of Amazon India, the sellers-pool has grown 30 times its original size and more than 75% of the products offered are ‘fulfilled by Amazon.’

In July 2014, Bezos invested nearly $2 billion into the India business. Even though the financial numbers are unavailable, the founder stated that Amazon India went past the $1 billion sales mark in just 12 months after launch. For Amazon, it was the fastest to the billion mark anywhere on the globe; the numbers far surpassed their expectations. Amazon India is currently the biggest online store in numerous categories, including kitchen and home appliances, books, video games, music, toys, bags, fashion jewelry, and luggage.

Amazon India has warehousing space of nearly 2.5 million cubic feet in eleven ‘fulfilment centers’ spread across nine states of India. Headquartered in Bangalore/Bengaluru, the company also has another main center in the Mumbai suburbs of Bhiwandi. All these help in extending the speed and reach of Amazon India. Nearly 170,000 products offered are eligible for next-day delivery across different regions of the country, and over 50% of the customers are eligible for such next-day shipping. Additionally, it also has its own logistics arm that can deliver the goods directly to the customers. Partnership with India Post has helped Amazon India extend its reach deep into India’s hinterland.

Amazon Japan & The Environment

In Japan the development in the use of environmental package materials has been leading the industry. All material that is used for the packaging is 100% recyclable, and mostly made out of recycled materials. There is also a CO2 emission reduction program which has contributed to a great reduction of hazardous materials being reduced to the environment. You can find more information about ecological policies directly from the Amazon JP site.

There are even goats living at the fulfilment centre of Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

The Future of Amazon India

Even though Amazon.in has been hugely successful, everyone, including its competitors and researchers, know that online commerce in the country is still in its nascent phase and there is a huge scope for growth. With the third-largest internet and smartphone using base in the world, online shopping in India is expected to grow exponentially and just explode.

Analysts have stated that by 2018 the e-commerce market in India may grow to nearly $18 billion, and to $32 billion by 2020. Amazon India’s share of the pie is expected to be substantial. It may end up selling products to the tune of nearly $5 billion by 2018, with revenues in the range of $700 million and profits of nearly $600 million.

Business greetings,
Timo Holm

Shanghai Centre Business Mindset to India

I never really understood how the Chinese could make such amazing businesses until I traveled there. In India, I new simply too well all the mistakes that were being carried out day by day. It just didn’t seem to be able to get much better, until a global mindset was born. This had both negative and positive implications. The most dangerous of all was the inexperience and inability to deal with the great forces also known as overseas. The Indian people have embraced many things to their lives, but not all of them have been great. In fact, some of the changes have been for the worse. This is mainly because of the lack of spread within benefit terms. So when overseas policies were applied to India, it simply didn’t work with the same rules on the Indian side of life.

Shanghai Centre Building

But when I looked at China, it also has big trouble with inequality. People are put into not casts, but groups of poverty and rich enheritance. It is like a carefully planned dance, to channel benefit to certain corners of the world. But there was just something that the Chinese had figured out, which Mao Zedong would have never allowed. It is a certain sense of freedom, not of the system but of the mind.

No matter how much you would try to brainwash the Chinese, they keep fighting back. Allowing certain things and with saved energy fighting even stronger against those things that are most important. Yes, a lot of it revolves around money and power but simply to have that sense of possibility to do anything you want is a powerful one. I have taken many examples from China in the past, from shows, to opera and acrobatics. And there is always room for one more, as is the story that is behind the Shanghai Centre, which is an achievement of a very unique kind. Of course the building is majestic and the acrobatic show is at the center stage of the activity. But the people it employees is an odd group of people who are in there not to do as they are told. There is a certain kind of a trust towards those who are willing to bring people to watch the show. A trust that they are doing it for mutual benefit and it is rewarded. This little mindset that has been created in Shanghai, is having a powerful effect on people who want to go their own way. Who would imagine, that in Shanghai something like this could happen.

I have seen the show a few times at the Shanghai Centre and it is magnificent. An acrobatic show by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe that cannot be “not seen”, when visiting this busy but beautiful city. Just seeing it, makes you think how the life is full of opportunities. But the same mindset is coming to India, little by little. Just the foundation of poverty is so strong that is difficult to break the mold. So we need to look at things the Indian way. Not the way of the Shanghai Centre, the Chinese, the European or the American either. For sure, there is a lot to be learned, yet in the end the mind will be different. It will be beautiful and business will bloom more and more. Finally how it will bloom is another question that I am excited to watch and witness as it unravels. Thank you for reading and see you again very soon for another edition of “Bath India”.

Sincere regards to readers,
Timo Holm

The Modern Indian Woman: Education, Career & Family

India is no longer the land of snake charmers and Elephants. Urban India is a modern, educated society that has undergone a huge transformation in the last two decades. While it has opened up numerous opportunities for all Indians, the impact on Indian women has been huge.

Till a generation ago, the women were restricted to their homes. A lot of them were educated. Save for a few liberal families, the whole idea behind a woman’s education was to find a man who would accept her as a wife. Very few women pursued higher studies or ambitious careers. Today, the women in India have a world of options. They have even ventured into traditionally male dominated careers, from engineering to aviation.

The society on the whole encourages and even celebrates their achievements. And yet, every single day they struggle to maintain a balance. One of the mail reasons is that in India, the woman is still expected to run the household, she is still expected to be the primary care giver to the children and the elderly. No one says it, but they all expect it. There is a famous interview by Indira Nooyi, Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo where she recounts an incident that demonstrates this Indian mindset. It was the day she was appointed to the board of PepsiCo. She rushed home to share this wonderful news with her family and the first thing her mother tells her is that they were out of milk! Her husband was home, equally tired by a long day at his work and yet, it was she who was expected to get the milk. This causes a daily struggle in the lives of these women. The ones who focus on career are said to be neglected their family and sometimes, their kids. Even when they assemble and train a fantastic support staff, they get to hear things like, “No one can replace a mother”. The ones who give up on their career aspirations for the sake of family are said to lack ambition and take the easy life. A modern Indian woman has to go through a lot. Yet, she is unstoppable.

The financial independence that the career brings them goes a long way towards building their confidence! Once they realise that they are not dependent on anyone, they are bolder and more willing to voice out their feelings. They contribute to the family income and hence have the right to partake in the importance decisions the family takes. These were things that were traditionally handled by the man of the family or the elders. These women can rely on their experience, knowledge and education to add a value that was not thought possible earlier.

The best part about the educated women is that they question conventional beliefs and challenge status quo. The exposure that their education brings them empowers them to think and form their own opinion. They inspire many around them to do the same. These women go on to instill a modern thought in their children and are slowly bringing about a change in the very way Indians think.