Innovation and exploitation: India’s e-commerce boom threatens to upend local businesses and workers’ rights

  • July 30, 2023
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While online shopping explodes in the world’s biggest country, traditional companies are struggling to adapt

The apps are there for whatever you need: an extra mango, a carton of milk, a pint of ice-cream or a replacement phone cable for the one your dog chewed in half. For those living in the urban centres of India – and increasingly in the smaller cities and towns beyond – almost anything can be delivered at the touch of a button – sometimes within less than 10 minutes.

Online shopping, otherwise known as e-commerce, is rapidly changing the way India shops and nowhere is that clearer than through quick commerce: the apps that can deliver groceries and other essentials to your door in the time it takes to hard boil an egg and at a cost of 30p – or less – for the service.

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