Within five years of its entry into India, the US company seems to have hit the local posterboy – now owned by Walmart – though the latter had a six-year headstart. Barclays says the two were neck and neck in 2016-17, but Amazon took a significant lead the following year. Amazon is estimated to have a huge sales of $ 7.5 billion in the year, compared to Flipkart's $ 6.2 billion.
Barclays' estimates do not include the fashion business Myntra-Jabong, which is part of the Flipkart group. But considering Myntra-Jabong is estimated to have a running rate of about $ 2 billion in sales, the difference between Amazon India and the Flipkart group last year may have been marginal.
The Barclays report says Amazon is expected to report huge sales of over $ 11 billion in the current financial year, and Flipkart (excluding Myntra-Jabong) about $ 9 billion.
In terms of revenue though, Barclays says Flipkart is still ahead of Amazon, but indicates that the latter will soon catch up. "Flipkart continues to grow bigger than Amazon in terms of revenue ($ 3.8 billion vs. $ 3.2 billion), although Amazon is catching up quickly and continues to grow much faster (82% vs 47%)," the report said.
The revenue for e-commerce companies comes from the commissions they make on each transaction that occurs on their platforms, as well as from advertising on the platforms and the services they provide, such as warehousing and logistics to merchants. Flipkart's bigger revenue is said to be due to a larger wholesale operating than Amazon's.
Flipkart and Amazon have both been claiming market leadership. And continues to do so. A Flipkart spokesman, when contacted by TOI on the Barclays report, said, "Flipkart remains an unquestioned leader and it has also been established by independent research houses that track the industry in India closely." Amazon India said it could not comment on industry reports .