16 April 2022, Kolkata: All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), an apex body representing 1.5 lac plus mobile retailers in India, has warned that unethical, discriminatory and monopolistic business practices by online sales platforms is jeopardizing the future of 1.5 lac mainline mobile phone retailers across India.
Hundreds of mobile phone retailers and top members of the Association from all over India have converged in Kolkata to attend the 8th Annual General Meeting of AIMRA on April 16 and 17, 2022. This year’s AGM, which gains importance in the wake of new existential challenges being faced by the mobile retailers, will have many brainstorming sessions to work out a counter strategy and action plan.
“We will approach the Government with a charter of demands to ensure the protection of over 150,000 brick-and-mortar mobile retailers across the country who are struggling to compete with the tech giants and unethical business practices by many online sales channels and portals. The Government must formulate new regulations or at least strengthen the existing ones to stop unethical business practices by some of the big players,” said Mr Mohan Bajoria, President, AIMRA, Bengal.
The US $38 billion Indian smart phone market is the biggest and fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. Some of the top global mobile phone brands have registered their highest shipments to India in 2021. Due to the fallout of the Covid impact, the online platform currently accounts for fifty per cent of the smart phone sales in India.
“With the foray of big cash-rich and technology-driven companies in the retail sector has thrown up new opportunities and challenges for the small retailers in the mobile phone sector. A new discriminatory environment has emerged in India where big players flout norms with impunity thus threatening the small retailers. The Government must step in to ensure transparency in business operations,” said Mr Mridul Biswas – General Secretary AIMRA, Bengal.
Expressing concern on ease of doing business Mr Sanjib Pal, Vice-President, AIMRA, Bengal said, “The Government must take steps to make GST norms easy for mobile retailers to understand and comply easily. The current GST regime remains a concern for small mobile retailers who find it complicated and not conducive for doing business.”
AIMRA will also give final shape to a proposal to flag off a pan-India blood donation camp in which mobile retailers from all over the country would donate blood for the society. Also present at the Kolkata AGM were AIMRA core committee members and Founder Chairman, Mr Kailash Lakhyani, under the guidance of National President, Mr Arvinder Khurana, Senior National Vice President, Mr Vibhooti Prasad and Joint General Secretary, Mr Navneet Pathak.