The platform economy has rapidly developed as an engine for economic growth and job creation in India. However, platformisation has also generated concerns about disruption of traditional businesses and the likelihood of anti-competitive behaviour. The webinar on “Shaping India’s Platform Economy in the Wake of COVID-19” was organised by ICRIER on June 30, 2020. The lead speakers were Dhanendra Kumar, former Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI), Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, Mohit Saraf, Senior Partner, L&L Partners, and Rekha Jain, Senior Visiting Professor, ICRIER. This online discussion, moderated by Rajat Kathuria, Director & CE, ICRIER, focused on the transformation of the platform economy and the challenges and opportunities facing digital platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Dhanendra Kumar noted that competition law in India is sufficiently flexible to deal with the growing market power of platforms. On the other hand, Mr Rajneesh Kumar highlighted the problems faced by e-commerce companies due to lack of clarity and frequent changes in government orders during the early phases of the lockdown implemented in India to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted the increasing willingness among MSMEs to collaborate with online platforms and stated that his company, Flipkart, has strengthened its supply chain and increased local partnerships amid the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 lockdown. Professor Rekha Jain outlined the pros and cons of the growing strength of big platforms pointing out that while on the one hand MSMEs attaching themselves to bigger platforms has meant more formalisation in the economy, on the other, there is a risk of these platforms becoming bigger and stronger, and therefore there is need for policy to acknowledge this trend. Mr Mohit Saraf highlighted the simultaneous transition among businesses and consumers to adopt digital platforms. He also emphasised the diminishing role of deep discounting strategies and the need for regulatory certainty to enable innovation.
02:55 – 03:00 pm: Initialization and Participant Log-in
03:00 – 03:10 am: Welcome Remarks and Introduction by the Moderator
03:10 – 04:10 pm: Panel Discussion
04:10 – 04:25 pm: Questions and Answers
04:25 – 04:30 pm: Closing Remarks by the Moderator
30 Jun, 2023