The first mover advantage somehow went amiss in case of eBay’s Indian operations. The U.S based was amongst the pioneers in the Indian online marketplace. It acquired Baazee.com in 2004 and started making inroads in the Indian market.
Since its foray in India, eBay has relied primarily on auctions mode which allows person-to-person trading of just about anything. But all was not hunky dory.
“The company was built on an auction platform. It acquired online marketplace Baazee (online marketplace) to set up its business in India. The acquisition didn’t go very well,” said a former executive at eBay.
There were internal issues as well. Centralization acted as a stumbling block.
“All software development had to happen from San Jose. The option to take a call locally didn’t exist,” claimed the executive on condition of anonymity.
More than a decade down the line, eBay stands at crossroads. Its Indian operations have somehow lost the plot. Relatively newer kids on the block; Flipkart and Snapdeal have surged far too ahead. And then Amazon is no mean threat to eBay.
A few years back, eBay chose an alternative route and invested in Snapdeal with the objective of making the most of the lucrative Indian market. The company still remains secretive about the investments made in Snapdeal.
According to people having knowledge of the matter, eBay is scouting for a buyer. The former giant is hoping that another company who is well versed with the nuances of conducting online business in India would help eBay keep its head above the water on Indian soil.