Report: Rakuten Setting up Shop in India
April 14, 2016
Japanese online marketplace Rakuten is poised to enter the Indian e-commerce market in the wake of a decision by the country’s government allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in e-commerce marketplaces. A report in the Economic Times of India this week said it learned from sources that the company, which had opened a development center in the city of Bengaluru in 2014, has opened a business office and has begun hiring managers away from Indian competitor Flipkart.
While the overall e-commerce market in India is small, most expect its growth will outpace even other emerging markets over the next few years. In fact, a recent report from the Associated Chambers of Commerce in India pegged e-commerce growth during 2016 at 67 percent, after growing 52 percent from 2014 to 2015.
Rakuten has not commented on its specific plans for India, but responded to ET via an email statement: “India is a vibrant growth market and a great source of talent and ideas for us at Rakuten,” a spokesperson said. “We are always interested in new global opportunities for growth but we don’t have any comments on developments in India at this time.”