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Is eCommerce the next big thing in establishing Kerala’s supremacy as India’s model state?
June 20, 2006

Take a look at the facts. Kerala is the first Indian State to achieve total literacy. It is the first state to implement land reforms. Kerala has the highest life expectancy, lowest birth rate and the lowest infant mortality rate. Kerala has a hospital facility in every village – something other states only dream about. Kerala’s communication infrastructure is the best in the country. So is it a surprise if one says that Kerala is one of the leading states in India to exploit the commercial potential of the Internet?

“Increasingly, a large number of small entrepreneurs from Kerala have chosen to use the Internet to run highly profitable businesses. Whether it is gifting, handicrafts, hospitality or even selling technology, Keralite entrepreneurs are making a solid mark on the Internet.”

Mr. Vishwas Patel
should know. As the Founder-CEO of Avenues, the company that launched CCAvenue, South Asia’s largest eCommerce solution, he is in the best position to provide information on the growth of eCommerce in India. His company provides payment gateway facilities to over 4000 websites which include 85% of the Indian eCommerce enabled websites. Mr. Patel is in Kerala on the invitation of its close associate IndusInd Bank to hold talks with the World Malayalee Council for providing specialized services to them during their conference in August.

Mr. Vishwas Patel
, explains "We have a large number of websites from Kerala using our solutions. In my experience the Keralite businessman is a very savvy individual for whom a world view comes naturally. So having an Internet based business that caters to a global audience fits well with him. Before we started in 2001, e-commerce in India was shackled by high startup costs and expensive recurring processing fees charged by financial institutions. Only about 75 Indian websites, mostly VC funded could afford them. Serious brick-and-mortar merchants, who intended to sell online were disillusioned by this scenario and refrained from expanding their online presence. We launched CCAvenue with the aim to deliver a cost effective online payments authorization and processing service for Indian e-merchants. After we came in, an entrepreneur could start an online business for less than Rs. 10,000 compared to the lakhs charged by the financial institutions. I am happy to say the Keralite entrepreneurs were quick to see the opportunity and were among the first adopters of our new service."

It is not just entrepreneurs who are happy. Technology-savvy financial institutions like the IndusInd Bank also saw an opportunity. Mr. Varghese Thambi, Sr. Vice President and Head of Retail Banking-IndusInd Bank speaks about the tie-up with Avenues, "The tie-up with Avenues has ensured that IndusInd Bank services are at the cutting edge of technology. Our customers benefit greatly as they can now use their IndusInd Bank Accounts to pay for the goods and services of over 4000 of Avenues' web merchants who retail millions of different types of products and services. They will also be able to make and pay for hotel reservations online. Thanks to our tie-up, they do not need a credit card to complete the transaction"

CCAvenue has become the preferred Indian payment-processing service for e-commerce, providing server-based payment solutions, enabling merchants to process secure transactions in real time 24 x 7 at a cost effective price. It also provides its e-merchants with the most comprehensive set of backend tools which can meet the requirements of even the most demanding clients. This facility coupled with the deployment of latest technologies, best-practices and 24 x 7 support, has made CCAvenue achieve its numero uno position in South Asia in just 4 years. Some of its esteemed clients include Indian Ministry of Information and Technology, Tatas, Press Trust of India, Mahindras, I.L. & F.S., Indian Express, Business Standard, Greenpeace, Transport Corporation of India, LG and Taj Hotels.

CCAvenue has also strengthened it control over the market by forming and continuing to form strategic alliances with leading financial institutions. Today, it offers its e-merchants the widest range of payment options with major credit cards like Master Card, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, JCB Cards and Citibank E-Cards and internet banking options like Centurion Bank of Punjab, Centurion Bank, Citibank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI iNetbanking, IndusInd Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, The Federal Bank Ltd. and UTI iConnect Netbanking.

About Avenues

Avenues is a profitable, debt-free company and currently services thousands of eMerchants worldwide through its solutions www.CCAvenue.com, www.ResAvenue.com, www.EventAvenue.com, www.MembersAvenue.com, www.TrustAvenue.com, www.BpoAvenue.com. It is the largest integrated eCommerce solutions provider in South Asia. Avenues has shown revenue growth and profit growth consistently, year on year. Avenues is incorporated in India, and has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, and USA. The Avenues support and development center is based in Mumbai, India. The total strength of the Avenues team is currently 120 personnel, spanning across all disciplines. For more information, log onto: www.Avenues.info

About IndusInd Bank

IndusInd Bank has become one of the fastest-growing banks in the Indian banking sector today with its branch network expanding from 61 as on March 31, 2004 to 137 as on March 31, 2006 – reflecting an increase in excess of 125% in 24 months.  The Bank has approximately 150 ATMs of its own, and has concluded multilateral arrangements with other banks with a total network of 15,000 ATM outlets.  All the outlets of the Bank, including its branches and ATMs, are connected via satellite to its central database that operates on the latest version of IBM’s AS400-720 series hardware and Midas Kapiti (now, Misys) software.

IndusInd Bank’s broad lines of business include Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Treasury and Foreign Exchange, Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Non-Resident Indian (NRI) / High Net worth Individual (HNI) Banking, and (through a subsidiary) Information Technology. For more information about IndusInd Bank, please visit www.indusind.com

World Malayalee Council
Formed in April 1995, the World Malayalee Council (WMC) was officially inaugurated on 3rd July 1995 at the first World Convention of Non Resident Malayalees. The main objective of this organization is to provide a non-political forum to bring together the widely scattered community of people of Malayalee/Kerala origin and strengthen the common bonds of culture, tradition and way of life. The charter of the organization recognizes the revolutionary transformation taking place at global levels as a result of quantum leaps in technology. WMC works towards an international brotherhood of Malayalees /people of Kerala origin to bolster their cultural, artistic and social uniqueness and give resilience and understanding towards other cultures with which they have to co-exist and interact.


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