As Alibaba prepares to kickstart its India e-commerce play with Paytm Mallon Monday, the Noida-based company has reassigned top management roles to up the ante in the highly competitive online retail market.
Paytm recently spun off its commerce business where Alibaba would own more than 40% stake, paving the way for the Chinese internet conglomerate’s direct entry into the local online retail market. Paytm Mall will challenge players like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, setting the stage for an intense battle.
Paytm has moved two of its vice-presidents, Amit Bagaria and Saurabh Vashishtha, to the new commerce business, while another vice-president, Sudhanshu Gupta, who was looking at the company’s erstwhile commerce business, has joined the payments part of the venture.
The spun-off entity of Paytm is looking to raise fresh cash at a valuation of about $1 billion where Alibaba will pick up more than 40% stake, as reported by TOI in its February 3 edition. The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded Paytm is looking to raise $200 million.
“Paytm Mall will focus on structured categories and brand authorized stores. It will also focus on electronics, top fashion brands and FMCG products. We will also focus on fashion, home furnishing and SMEs with key focus on small sellers looking to leverage mobile commerce to enhance their business,” said Saurabh Vashishtha, VP at Paytm.
The company is starting with 17 fulfilment centres that have been set up by its partners and sellers. “The platform will offer sellers network of over 40 courier partners. Paytm Mall will not have the cash on delivery (COD) option. Most leading e-commerce companies witness 60-70% of their orders being placed via COD.