Next day Delhi-very: The rise of e-commerce in India

With a population of more than 1.3 billion and an economy that grew 6% in 2018, India is a country brimming with economic potential and opportunity. The South Asian country is undergoing a demographical transformation that is taking the world by storm. More than half of the population make up the burgeoning middle class – of which 65% are younger than 35 years. What that means for businesses is an aspirational consumer market and the opportunity to introduce new ideas and ways of selling products and services to customers.

With an estimated market size of $36 billion, e-commerce has transformed the way business is done in India – so much that it will exceed $100 billion by 2022, according to PwC. That same year, it is estimated that India will have nearly 850 million internet users, of which at least 50 million will have a high frequency of online transactions. A contributing factor could also be, that according to a BBC report, India has one of the world’s cheapest mobile data fees.

Beyond the rise in the ‘consuming class’ and number of internet users, there is also a growing appetite for international brands and high-quality foreign products amongst India’s digitally connected shoppers. Sectors including beauty products, consumer electronics, clothing and automotive have all seen rapid surge in cross-border trade into India. With all points considered, it could be argued that India is the world’s most promising internet economy.

We’ve compiled a quick rundown of our favourite internet and app-based companies to watch out for…


This app allows you to book an office commuter service across Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Kind of like Uber Pool for getting to work, providing a more cost-effective, commuting alternative for urban Indians, plus helping to combat pollution.


A budding online to offline fashion retailer, built on API’s, it gains real-time inventory access to thousands of stores across India. This fashion e-commerce portal sources directly from brands’ stores, such as Pepe Jeans, Nike and Levis.


The Deliveroo of India, with a tagline of “Food Delivery 2.0”. It’s key USP versus the competition, Zomato and Food Panda, is their delivery service. They have their own delivery fleet, no minimum order policy and constantly develop their tracking technology to improve the app-based experience for their customers. They pretty much do what it says on the tin, but Swiggy’s success highlights the growing demand by an internet and app-based audience.

Despite the introduction of new legislation aimed at courting the local culture of small businesses across India, customer expectation is high. Similarly, building on the foundations set by existing giants like Amazon and FlipKart, the appetite for e-commerce throughout India is not likely to dampen. This all translates into a growing need for air freight, with consumers expecting international orders to arrive on their doorsteps in a matter of days. For IAG Cargo, e-commerce is a major driver in growth, with consistent demand for electronics, automotive parts and ancillaries across all six Indian airports we serve.