Lagging China by seven years in terms of internet penetration and online purchases, e-commerce in India could experience a similar take-off, creating millions of job opportunities for its young population, says a study.
“Business-as-usual estimates suggest that India could have a shortfall of 24 million jobs over the next decade. E-commerce could fill half that gap,” says an HSBC study. With the rise of online purchases, e-commerce could create 20 million ‘gross’ jobs across logistics and delivery (70 per cent) and customer care, IT and management (30 per cent). Some jobs will be lost in bricks-and-mortar stores. “On net, e-commerce could create 12 million ‘new’ jobs,” it said.
Online sales have risen three fold to $ 21 billion, and this number only includes sales from businesses to final consumers (commonly known as B2C), it said. “We estimate that e-commerce is currently employing just under a million people, spread across logistics, warehousing, delivery, customer care, information technology and top management. ..,” HSBC said.
The rise of e-commerce in China could be a useful benchmark for India, it said. “With the formation of Taobao villages (digital market places where villagers can set up ‘digital shops’), e-commerce in China has spread to rural areas. A similar revolution in India could engage 5 million village merchants and create many livelihood opportunities over 10 years. ..,” said Pranjul Bhandari, chief economist, HSBC India.