IIM Raipur students were today graced by the presence of the man behind implementation of online railway reservation system in India, Mr Amitabh Pandey. Mr Amitabh was here to deliver a guest lecture about the future of e-commerce in India. Mr Amitabh, who has also been the President and Head of E-Business for Thomas Cook India, concentrated on the learning from his real life projects. The students were fortunate enough to know about the implementation of one of the earliest internet based commerce project in India and the lessons learnt from it.
Mr Amitabh Pandey discusses about future of e-commerce in India at IIM Raipur
Mr Amitabh was adamant on instilling the entrepreneur spirit among the students. He showed through numerous examples that if opportunities are grasped at the right time, one can achieve the success. In 2001 it was a tedious process for common people to book the rail tickets standing in queues and when online reservation system was introduced, people welcomed it and today almost 400,000 tickets are booked on IRCTC daily. He emphasized that even today lot of such opportunities exist and it is just a matter of time when various entrepreneurs will come up with innovative solutions. Even today more than fifty percent of the e-commerce business in India is related with online travel booking which leaves a huge scope in the retail segment.
While discussing various practical experiences from his past projects, Mr Amitabh told about the importance of limiting costs in initial phase and dealing with customers honestly. He said we all learn great lessons in our classes but after joining corporate, we sometimes limit our vision just to next quarter results and the year’s bonus. He also discussed about the various risks related with the e-commerce business and management of those risks. He mentioned about various problems faced by him throughout his career of conceptualizing e-commerce business and solutions he adapted at various places. All in all, the session was an enriching experience for the students some of whom were seriously contemplating about grasping any such opportunity existing today.