Bernstein pegs Reliance as India’s eventual e-commerce kingpin

The Indian conglomerate Reliance is poised to outpace Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart in the race for the country’s $150 billion e-commerce market, analysts at Bernstein projected in a scathing report to clients this week, challenging the prevailing industry views that favor the incumbent global powerhouses.

Bernstein’s projection hinges on a quartet of compelling advantages that they argue will propel Reliance to the top: a robust retail network, a sweeping mobile network, a holistic digital ecosystem, and a “home field advantage” in a notoriously challenging regulatory landscape. These factors should help Reliance seize the majority of the massive e-commerce market in the longer run, the wealth management firm said.

Reliance Retail, a Reliance Industries subsidiary, is already a dominant force, operating the country’s largest retail chain, with over 18,000 stores. Bernstein sees the conglomerate’s expansive physical presence, bolstered by numerous recent acquis...

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