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BW Businessworld

Rise Of The D2C Ecosystem

With India’s makeshift innovation mindset and headroom to propel to the next level of e-commerce led economy digital ecosystem is only going to get better and better with time, giving new entrepreneurs bringing their dream to reality of building unicorns

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India is one of the fastest growing e-shopping markets in the world. The staggering growth is primarily attributed to the mobile penetration, availability of cheap internet data, growing disposable income with the Indian working class and lucrative offers from banks and e-commerce portals. While these are drivers for growth but often lesser mentioned drivers are the 1st generation e-commerce companies who helped set-up a robust ecosystem that has created a runway for the new age Direct-to-Consumer companies to propel with the next wave of growth.

We can’t even imagine the early days of e-commerce where it was a mammoth task to create an online platform, manage the last-mile delivery, nightmare of returns, payment gateway integrations and the game changer Cash on Delivery in India.

Today, we have a very well lubricated ecosystem that is mushrooming making it easier for a common man to dream of building a unicorn. The whole ecosystem works like an opera where the entrepreneur is the conductor, and all the support companies work in perfect symphony to deliver a great user experience. The complex elements of e- commerce are now extended by service providers who specialize in one part of the e- commerce ecosystem and these companies range from large global companies to local companies who have built an entire business model around one of the fastest growing categories of Indian economy – e-commerce retail.

A typical ecosystem includes;

E-commerce Platform providers based on user need and scale like Shopify, Woo-commerce, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud. 

Payment Gateway integrators from PayU, CC Avenue to Razorpay

Last mile delivery providers like FedEx, ShadowFax, DTDC, Safexpress, Delhivery, DHL and host of local delivery partners.

CRM & Loyalty apps like CleverTap, HubSpot, Zoho CRM and likes.

Inventory Management & Shipping solutions platforms

Warehousing partners who offer multi-location sorting facility

Brand Communication & Marketing performance agencies who help build brand, listing, end to end driving traffic, sales and retention.

Analytics partners who provide a host of deep insights from visitors, heat-maps, consumer journey and life-time value.

The beauty of this ecosystem is that it lends ease to the entrepreneur in setting up the basics of starting an online business without having to worry of the scale. These elements have now evolved to more or less plug and play model where after a basic sign-up, the e-commerce element is ready to be integrated with the business. The cost structures are also very conducive to pay as you grow models giving entrepreneurs the much-needed support while taking the leap.

Looking at the future, with India’s makeshift innovation mindset and headroom to propel to the next level of e-commerce led economy this ecosystem is only going to get better and better with time, giving new entrepreneurs bringing their dream to reality of building  unicorns.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Ankur Pujari

Co-Founder & Growth Lead, Hyper Connect Asia

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