The rising role of India’s e-commerce women entrepreneurs

21st Jul 2015
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This article is sponsored by eBay

The Indian woman is often caught between two opposing forces, a fast moving economy, where women can have a successful career, and the conservative pull of society, which expects women to take care of home and hearth. And she is performing both the roles with aplomb.

Building successful businesses while continuing their role as the caregivers at home, Indian women entrepreneurs now ‘have it all’. This trend is further propelled by the e-commerce business which is giving women the freedom of working from the comfort of their homes. With varied funding options available today, millions of women entrepreneurs are fulfilling their dreams.

A study undertaken by YourStory concluded that women have started embarking on their business early in their life with a high percentage striking out on their own, as early as 25 years of age. Though most women entrepreneurs hail from the metro cities right now, the current trend is indicating the there’ll be a significant increase in the number of women traders from smaller towns.

The vast majority of women-owned businesses are micro-enterprises or SMEs owned by middle class women with around 75% of the businesses earning less than Rs 10 lakh in the last financial year and having less than five employees. One common motivation that drives all these women is the prospect of creative satisfaction and the feeling of financial independence.

While stereotypes reign when it comes to perception of women in business and many tend to be viewed as ‘hobbies’, the women themselves are very serious about their growth and profitability. Most women entrepreneurs have a clear roadmap to scale up their businesses and targeted growth plans for the future. These women are confident that they can do a lot better if they could recruit skilled people and receive sound financial support.

A large number of women sellers today are opting for e-tail sites to sell across a diverse range of sectors such as health care, home furnishing, jewellery, handicrafts and fashion apparel, among others. Minimum investments, ease of working from home, global reach and the empowerment that comes in from financial independence are the primary reasons for the emergence of online marketplace as the favourable platform for women entrepreneurs.

As per a report by IAMAI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), India is headed towards an Internet economy worth $200 billion by 2020 that will contribute to five percent of the GDP. The infiltration of Internet and smartphones into smaller towns and rural areas is a major contributing factor to this. The report states that the number of Internet users in rural areas will touch 210 million by 2018, pushing India’s Internet user base to over 500 million.

eBay India has been at the forefront of e-commerce in India for 10 years now and has been the chosen platform for women sellers to showcase their entrepreneurial abilities by selling their products online from their households. Currently, there are around 5000 women entrepreneurs who are a part of the seller base on eBay India.

Shivani Suri, Head of Marketing, eBay India, said, “With the advent of e-commerce marketplaces, today thousands of women are gaining financial independence by selling products online. We have over 5000 women sellers listed on our platform www.ebay.in, retailing products across home furnishing, and fashion apparel, etc. catering to global base of buyers who have a penchant for Indian products. In the coming times, women sellers will continue to contribute substantially in India’s online e-commerce revolution.”


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eBay India has always been supportive of women entrepreneurs. It has also been organizing training workshops in partnership with women’s groups and entrepreneurs in order to train and equip them with the necessary skills for smooth functioning of their online businesses. The company wants to further empower more women to sell their products on the marketplace by providing a superior global customer base.

It’s time for all women entrepreneurs and inspiring women leaders to share their success stories with HerStory and eBay India. We all know #SheMeansBusiness and now is the time to make your story be heard and acknowledged. The six most interesting entries will stand a chance to share their story with the world on HerStory and also win six months of free listing on www.ebay.in.

Submit your entry here.

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