afaqs!

Naspers expands its e-commerce business to India

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 10, 2009
The company has launched an e-commerce portal, Tradus.in, which will focus on the business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) segments

South African media group, Naspers, the owner of social media site Ibibo.com, has expanded its e-commerce business, Tradus, to India.

The company has rolled out a local version of its online auction and shopping website, which is already active in more than 12 European countries with different brand names and URLs.

For instance, its e-commerce website is available at Aukro.bg in Bulgaria, Molotok.ru in Russia and Qxl.no in Norway. In India, the website will be available at Tradus.in. Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and United Kingdom are some other European nations where Tradus is present.

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To head the e-commerce business, the company recently appointed Rahul Sethi as president. Earlier, Sethi was head, e-commerce division, Web18. He has also been the business head of MobileNXT.com, the online retail store for mobile phones and accessories.

Sethi will report to Ashish Kashyap, chief executive officer, Ibibo.com and look after all the e-commerce ventures which Naspers plans to roll out later in India.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sethi reveals that Tradus.in will focus only on the business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) segments.

It will allow companies to sell their products directly to consumers and also enable consumers to buy, sell or auction their products among each other. Initially, Naspers will only target consumers residing in six metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

"The company plans to focus more on the B2C segment and try to make it big over a period of time," reveals Sethi. It is in the process of finalising a few tie ups with various companies, which will start selling their products directly through the portal. However, Sethi refused to divulge the names of the companies they are talking to.

Naspers also plans to earn revenue from the transaction fee, to be charged from sellers whenever they sell any product through the listings on the website. The transaction fee will vary between 5-10 per cent, depending on the product category.

Apart from this, the company will also earn money from the advertising options given to sellers to promote their products on the website. For instance, a seller has to pay a premium in case he wants to showcase his products on the homepage, or give a bold title to the brand name.

Sethi says, "Our target is to earn 75 per cent of our revenue from the transaction fee and 25 per cent from the advertising options."

He adds that Naspers will give more attention to product categories such as mobile phones, computers, consumer durables and MP3 players, which can bring in more traffic to the website.

India is the first market in Asia where the company has launched Tradus.in. Naspers also plans to roll out more e-commerce products in the country.