| Entry call
Calcutta, Dec. 26: The $67-million Databazaar.com, the US’s fifth largest online retailer specialising in IT peripherals, is planning to enter India.
The company also has its captive business process outsourcing (BPO) outfit in the city, Databazaar India, which employs about 100 people.
The BPO outfit offers services such as customer relations management (CRM), technical support to the US parent and pre-recruitment work for other companies.
Oney Seal, founder and chairman of Databazaar.com, who is from the city, said the company’s research on Internet use in India indicated the great demand for online retailing.
“The plans are, however, still at a drawing board stage and we will proceed gradually,” Seal added.
The company is currently in talks with offline partners who have their own distribution and logistics chain and can be partners with them. Databazaar would comprise the online platform.
“Currently, it is not viable for us to have our own distribution and logistics hub with warehouses like we do in Florida (in the US),” Seal said.
He said some of the hurdles before online retailing were the absence of a complete logistics solutions provider, such as Fedex or UPS, greater credit card users and security for card users.
He said these issues relate to choosing the appropriate technology.
“We are engaged in informal talks with certain companies and are in the process of deciding on the right partner whose distribution and logistics skills we can leverage to provide the convenience of our internet platform,” Seal said.
A recent research by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) suggests that the value of business-to-commerce and e-commerce transaction is set to grow from Rs 1,180 crore to Rs 2,300 crore between 2005-06 and 2006-07, a growth of 95 per cent.
The company will initially invest $2 million in setting up the infrastructure and should have a pilot model ready by the next year for the metros.
In the US, Databazaar retails all the major brands, including HP, Dell, Sony, Canon, Samsung, Panasonic, Epson, Sharp, Lexmark, and caters to all segments such as B2B, B2C, wholesale and export sector.
The internet division globally contributes $31 million and is expected to reach $37 million this year.
“The BPO arm in the city is also looking at new avenues of high end activity and is one of the few companies in the city engaged in healthcare software development. We are also looking at areas like virtual analytics, business intelligence software and legal process outsourcing (LPO),” remarked SP Mukherjee, managing director, Databazaar India Pvt Ltd.
According to estimates, the cost of utilising legal services by outsourcing is 80 per cent cheaper compared with the US.