E-tailers dole out benefits to sellers for Diwali

With the festive season around the corner, online marketplaces are trying to help sellers in every way possible, in the hope of increasing sales. E-commerce company Snapdeal on Tuesday said it has lined up collateral-free loans worth Rs 1,000 crore for its sellers to enable them to stock up for the Diwali spike in sales.

The Gurgaon-based company had in December 2015 told Business Standard it was planning to offer capital-assist loans worth $1 billion (Rs 6,500 crore) to its sellers in the next three years.

Festive season loans would be disbursed through its ongoing programme Capital Assist, which is now managed by FreeCharge and is available to all sellers and merchants on Snapdeal, Shopo, and FreeCharge.

Recently, ShopClues had announced it would help disburse Rs 5,000 crore worth of loans under its Capital Wings initiative to its half-a-million merchant base to accelerate growth. Of this, Rs 200 crore will be disbursed ahead of Diwali.

Market leader Flipkart, too, recently disbursed Rs 125 crore in loans to 800 sellers. The Bengaluru-based company hopes to disburse Rs 200 crore in loans this festive season. The company has 90,000 sellers on its platform.

Amazon recently organised an event for its top-performing 200 sellers, where it encouraged them to sell more, give better products to its customers, and ensure client satisfaction. Vishal Chadha, senior vice-president, market development, Snapdeal, said, “The festive season provides an opportunity to our sellers to grow their businesses many times over with the sharp increase in demand. We expect Rs 1,000-crore disbursal to Snapdeal sellers ahead of this Diwali season.” The company has 300,000 sellers and delivers across 6,000-plus cities and towns in India.

The Kunal Bahl-led firm wants to add 1,000 sellers every three months in its loan scheme. Under Snapdeal’s Capital Assist Initiative, sellers can raise funds without collateral or lengthy documentation. Snapdeal has co-evolved a scoring process with partner banks and non-banking financial companies to provide credit rating to its sellers. This process enables instant decision on loan applications as well as quick disbursal.

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