Mumbai, Jan. 6 -- In October and November 2018, during the Great Indian Festival season in India, online retail giants - Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm Mall - sold goods worth $4.3 billion (~29,947 crore), 43% higher than the last year. Traders in physical retail have to reckon with the rather disconcerting reality of e-commerce. The press note issued by the Government of India on December 26 as a 'review' of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in e-commerce policy was received positively by a large section of domestic traders/retailers. The relief, perhaps, is too little, too late.

India's FDI in e-commerce policy permits only the 'marketplace model', where the e-commerce entity is a facilitator between the buyer and the seller, and not the '...