India’s leading online marketplace Flipkart is working to provide more visibility to products made in India or domestic brands, which are otherwise struggling in the offline channel or finding it difficult to compete with foreign players.

The Bangalore-based e-commerce player has a dedicated team that works closely with several domestic brands, to develop products or create new features and specifications based on feedback from online buyers. Besides, the company also plans to hold exclusive online product launches for such brands. Adarsh Menon, V-P, Electronics, Flipkart, told BusinessLine that the company had in the last one year roped in 15 such brands including Maharaja, Bajaj, Livpure and Ambrane, to sell on its platform. It plans to double that portfolio in 2016.

Consumer behaviour He said that the young consumer may find these brands or the categories, in which they are present, quite boring and might never go to an offline store to buy products such as a mixer-grinder, geyser, toaster or a cloth-iron.

However, this is changing due to online shopping. “Consumers do not want to waste their time shopping offline for products which are low in value. Flipkart is offering them that convenience. Last Republic Day we witnessed a huge demand for these brands and this Republic Day we expect the demand to double,” Menon said.

Menon, who is driving the sales for Flipkart’s electronics, the largest category in value, volume and product range, said the ‘Made in India’ brands are now among the top selling on the platform. Brands such as Bajaj, Maharaja, Prestige, Pigeon and Kent contribute close to 70 per cent of total home appliances business. Other smaller private labels contribute about an additional 10-15 per cent.

“The increase in demand for these products reflects the change in shopping behaviour too. Today, given the convenience, ease and wide range of products, customers are shopping for home appliances and accessories online more than ever,” he said adding that Maharaja Whiteline brand of food processor witnessed maximum growth during the Big Billion Day sale with 700 per cent growth in the festival season.

Geysers grew by almost 300 per cent on a monthly basis thus driving up sales for Crompton Greaves. Another domestic brand Ambrane, which makes power banks, helped in growth of that category by four times last year. Ambrane itself grew 20 times in the same period.

The company said several brands in the power bank category such as Xuperb, Maxx and Hitech have grown seven times month on month. These brands contribute to 60 per cent of overall powerbank sales.

“This has given us the confidence to push domestic brands. We are now planning to launch home-grown smart shoes and smart jewellery brands in the electronics segment soon,” Menon said adding that the plan is to drive consumption, adoption of these brands and become the ultimate destination for home appliances and accessories.

Apart from Flipkart, several other e-commerce players such as Snapdeal and Amazon are also turning towards domestic brands after facing opposition from different political parties and industry trade bodies for promoting only foreign brands.