India's new industry minister is savvy and wary of Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart

  • Indian e-commerce leaders recently had a meeting with the Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
  • During the meeting, Goyal told the likes of Amazon and Flipkart to comply to rules in India.
  • Goyal, who was very well prepared for the meeting, had multiple follow up questions for comments made by e-commerce leaders, according to a source.
In a closed door meeting with Indian e-commerce leaders held recently, Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal was at his candid best with representatives from Amazon and Flipkart.

Goyal not only took a crack at the American multinationals for whining to their home government, he also warned them in no uncertain terms that regulations will catch up if the companies ever tried to side step, a source privy to the discussion told Business Insider.

While companies expressed their concerns regarding the uncertainties in the Indian e-commerce space, participants in the meeting were quite impressed by Goyal’s interest and knowledge of the sector. “The minister was very well briefed and had counter questions on most topics for the e-commerce players present in the room,” said the source.

India’s new e-commerce rules had introduced tighter guidelines that barred global players like Amazon and the Walmart-owned Flipkart from selling products from vendor companies where they own a stake.

During this meeting, Goyal also told Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart that they must ensure compliance with new foreign investment rules and also steer clear of deep discounts on their platforms, according to a Reuters report. Flipkart had recently run into trouble when Indian startup GoQii had accused the Walmart-owned company for running deep discounts on the latter’s products.

The report which quoted three sources present in the meeting also said that the government was committed to protecting small traders in India from “predatory behaviour by foreign-funded companies”.

In summary, the Indian government has made its priorities clear to the companies and asked them to fall in line.
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