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India's largest retailer is targeting Indian consumers in America.
FutureBazaar.com, the main retail site of Pantaloon Retail, India's largest retailer, plans to relaunch on a new ecommerce platform this summer. The objective is to better serve Indian consumers in the U.S., as well as in India, CEO Sankarson Banerjee said.
FutureBazaar is a mass merchant selling products ranging from books and apparel to consumer electronics and home furnishings. It projects $18 million in sales this year.
It also expects strong growth within India, as well as among Indian consumers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Online sales are projected to grow online to more than $200 million by 2011. "About 20 percent of those sales will be to Indian consumers here, in Canada and the U.K.," Banerjee said.
FutureBazaar.com ships only to addresses within India, and is targeting Indians living abroad who buy things for friends and relatives back home. It chose to relaunch this year on an ecommerce platform from Art Technology Group Inc., or ATG, because of the flexibility it offers to add capacity and ecommerce features to accommodate growth, Banerjee said.
While ATG will replace FutureBazaar's existing SAP ecommerce platform, the retailer will retain SAP technology for back end operations. They include fulfillment and warehouse management, he said. FutureBazaar also plans to launch a mobile version of its website as early as this December, to support mobile shopping, a service being used by a rapidly growing base of Indian cell phone subscribers, Banerjee said.
Banerjee also is actively promoting India as a growing ecommerce market for retailers based in the U.S. He believes there are untapped opportunities in selling to the Indian market.
Ecommerce is poised to grow about 300 percent within India to about $12 billion over the next three years, supported by the 60 percent of current online consumers there who are between 19 and 30, according to a FutureBazaar spokesperson. The country now has about 46 million online consumers, up about 40 percent from two years ago.
It expects 75 percent of its online population to have broadband Internet access by the end of this year, the spokeswoman said, and pointed to studies showing that consumers with broadband spend more online.
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