Quote from Founder/CEO Justeat.in Ritesh Dwivedy on Pre- Budget expectations:
E-commerce is witnessing strong growth in India as more and more companies are coming up with various business models to serve different customer needs. With e-commerce being touted as the game changer in India it could contribute up to 4% to India’s economy by 2020 from under 1% now.
However, e-commerce in India is yet to reach the scale that is required to take it to the next level. Factors such as low internet penetration levels of just 19%, and improper logistics infrastructure that form the foundation of the e-commerce industry are holding back the industry from realising its full potential. We expect this year’s Union Budget to address crucial policy issues that will boost investments in technology and logistics infrastructure.
Many restaurants in India still do not have computers and internet compared to developing nations like Brazil, where majority of restaurants have computers/ internet connection in place. Food delivery in India is still at a nascent stage and we still face the challenge to make the whole experience- from ordering to deliver a smoother process.
We are trying to change the way India orders food, so our mission can reach its zenith only when we can serve more people, reach out to people and smaller towns with basic internet connection. We expect the upcoming budget to have polices that will boost greater focus on India’s Internet growth, enable rural and other underprivileged groups to avail of the benefits of the net, and not be hampered by rules that create additional challenges for telcos, internet and web-hosting service providers.
Most e-commerce companies are still struggling, but surviving thanks to massive cash infusions by venture capitalists. With the new government proposing FDI in the e-commerce space, we believe that e-commerce companies will be able to raise foreign funding and expand operations. FDI in e-commerce would further boost the e-commerce industry, helping revive the economy at a faster pace than the present 5%.
Another expectation that we have from this budget is with regards to tax reforms in the restaurant industry. Currently our tax structure is very complex. It includes service tax, service charges, VAT and others. Since our business depends on how many restaurants open across India, we expect to have a simpler and rational tax structure to be in place. There needs to be more lands for restaurant allocation, easy license rules and faster implementation of projects.
With the current government’s focus on the hospitality sector, we hope that the sector gets its due importance as it not only offers an avenue for employment, but also plays a key role in tax revenue, thereby leading to greater business growth.