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Democratisation of commerce-driven technology in India stands out, says global investment firm KKR

New Delhi, Feb 24, 2024
India’s e-commerce industry will look quite different, and more democratised, than what has unfolded in both the United States and China, said Henry H. McVey, Head of Global Macro & Asset Allocation, CIO, KKR.

This is suggested, he said, by the digitalisation of key consumer and business-focused infrastructure such as payments, which are called Unified Payments Interface or UPI in India, as well as the development of the Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC, which is essentially an unbundled version of Amazon for business/logistics/buyers.

KKR is a leading global investment firm offering solutions in alternative assets spanning real-estate, private credit, private equity, and infrastructure.

“If we are right, it likely means a more balanced outcome as it relates to private sector value creation linked to e-commerce as well as technological innovation than what we have seen in the United States and China so far,” McVey said in a note.

“Specifically, India, unlike the US and China, does not have – or seem that interested in promoting – a domestic private sector champion like Amazon or Alibaba that often enjoys a ‘winner take all’ narrative when it comes to online payments, e-commerce, and/or bank account formation in most countries,” the note said.

Rather, the government is largely supporting neutrality and inclusion through programmes such as UPI (mobile payments), Aadhaar (the world’s largest digital ID programme), and/or e-commerce (ONDC, which represents a more unbundled marketplace than something like Amazon Prime), the note said.(Agency)

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