1. India’s answer to market innovation – E-commerce to be the game-changer amidst national lockdown
E-commerce in India has existed for a while, however COVID-19 has presented the need to not view e-commerce as one of the ways to access “essential goods and supplies”, but as a “primary” way to access them. In anticipation of the rise in cases of COVID-19 in the near future and the lockdowns that may follow, e-commerce would be an extremely crucial vehicle in meeting the unprecedented needs of Indian consumers while they practice social distancing. The success of such adoption is the need of the hour, as the entire nation undergoes a lockdown for twenty one days, and hence demands convergence of efforts from Indian government [law enforcement authorities] to actualize it on ground optimally.
The Government needs to realize that if lockdowns carry on for longer period, which they may, then people would need access to variety of goods in order to sustain their normal lives. Hence, in anticipation of the longer duration of lockdowns, the Central Government must look at driving a robust strategy to ensure smooth operations and delivery of e-commerce services across the country, in coordination with the state authorities. Amidst COVID-19 outbreak, e-commerce would be the most apt and innovative answer to provide people access to a wide variety of goods and products [essential and non-essential] while it stimulates social distancing as encouraged by our Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
2. Disruption of e-commerce operations would cause unbearable consequences to Indian consumers amidst COVID-19/Halting logistics and supply chain operations will underestimate consumer’s needs for essential products.
In the light of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing dependability of India consumers on essential goods cannot be underestimated. It’s time that the law enforcement authorities across states take cognizance of the “emergency” and ensure smooth protocols to support e-commerce operations. State authorities, in line with the exemptions issued against Section 144 for e-commerce operators and supply chain vendors, must endeavor to cultivate the sense of urgency amidst the local administration and police as well. However, cautionary measures around consumer safety must be sacrosanct and e-commerce entities should be held responsible for the same. The COVID-19 crisis demands empathy from the authorities towards “consumer’s essential needs” and clarity on “prohibitory orders” in order to avoid far reaching consequences.
(The views expressed in this article are by Mr. Kazim Rizvi, Founder, The Dialogue. Onlineandyou.com doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)