Indian Economy News

Paytm to get 1 mn merchants from China on its marketplace

Pune: Mobile commerce firm Paytm is all set to get close to 1 million merchants from China to its market place, and will add over 100 million Stock Keeping Units or SKUs to its platform by July-August time period.

Paytm that forayed into the shopping space a year back, is also looking to gear its local merchant count.

"As a part of the deal with Alibaba we will get about 1 million merchants from China and add 100 million SKUs. But we will also be gearing up the Indian merchant base from the current 40,000 to 100,000 by end of this fiscal year," said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm.

The company received investment of $500 million from Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba for a 25% stake. Sharma is not too concerned about competition from players such as Snapdeal or Flipkart either in the shopping space or the payment space.

"We are primarily a mobile payment platform and market place is a value add for our customers. In terms of revenue break-up mobile payment will remain the bigger revenue generator for us," added Sharma.

In the commerce space Paytm has been scaling fast. The company's foray into the m-commerce space on a market place model has already clocked gross merchandise value of 1.6 billion and is targeting to touch a GMV of $4 billion by end of this year.

"Unlike other companies we do not have affiliate companies that take care of delivery. We are in the truest sense a market place provider where we only manage order for the merchants, and deliver of product is done by the merchant's. No one merchant on our platform gets more than 5% of order," said Sharma.

Paytm claims that 10,000 sellers sold and delivered items in just one month. The company said that 95% of its orders are from unstructured categories like fashion, home furnishing and accessories, which is 60% of the GMV. Paytm gets 7-8% margins on every order that gets sold plus 2-2.5% margin from payment platform.

Sharma does not shy away from the fact that Paytm's strategy of growth in India has been similar to Alibaba'a Alipay in China and now resembles a lot like TaoBao. When asked how much of the shift to m-commerce came from Jack Ma who invested $500 million in the company, Sharma says not much.

"When they saw our business they found our business similar to theirs. But the move to add shopping to the platform came from our side," said Sharma.

Though the company is scaling up its mobile commerce platform, Sharma is equally serious about getting a banking licence. The company has applied for a payment banking licence.

"Payment will be our primary play. We came into existence to solve the payment issues of this country and I am confident that we can solve this by using mobile. RBI is expected to come out with the first list on 1, August. If we get a licence we can offer a bouquet of financial services including financial inclusion," he added.

At present Paytm has a user base of 30 million for its mobile wallet and 80 million users. The number of users is more as this also includes PC users. By the end of FY16 Sharma expects its app downloads to be 50 million and the wallet users will touch 200 million users.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.