Projects Completed:


Evaluation of Product Trust in the Age of e-Commerce

Overview:                                                                                                                                                E-commerce sector has been growing by leaps and bounds in the country. The growth of the sector shows the increasing adoption of online mode of shopping by people. This is not possible without consumers trusting this mode of shopping to get the right product. Given that a buyer’s purchase decision is influenced by different factors in online mode as compared to offline mode, it is critical for sellers to understand the factors that build and enhance consumer trust in their products so that they can build consumer loyalty and grow their business. The objective of this study is to understand the relevance of product trust for consumers, the factors that contribute to building this trust and what sellers and e-commerce platforms should do to build and enhance product trust among consumers.

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Festive Economy and e-Commerce Sales of Small and Medium Businesses in India

Overview:                                                                                                                                              The study aims to assess the role of e-commerce platforms in enhancing the festive sales of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India and whether the policy landscape in the country is conducive to the growth of e-commerce.  

Festive sales play an important role in the Indian economy. In addition to creating communal bonding, festivals also create economic opportunities for businesses, specifically regional Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs). The festive economy creates employment opportunities directly as well as indirectly. However, these opportunities were hampered by the lockdown imposed in the wake of the spread of Covid-19.  In these times of uncertainty and bleak future, e-commerce offered the much-needed resilience to keep the businesses afloat and a channel to consumers to shop during lockdowns. To gain insights into the e-commerce dimension of the festive economy, we conducted a consumer survey and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with small sellers. The research shows that e-commerce is a positive innovation for both consumers and sellers. The consumer survey reported a higher percentage of consumers expressing their preference to shop online during festivals. Similarly, small sellers also reported to have benefitted from e-commerce during festivals and the festive sale events organised by e-commerce companies. The report concludes with a policy discussion covering the new and proposed regulations governing the e-commerce sector, such as Draft National E-commerce Policy 2019, Consumer Protection Act 2019, Foreign Direct Investment laws and policies, and Personal Data Protection Bill 2019. 

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CompIP Project
CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition (CIRC), along with Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), undertook an empirical research to facilitate the promotion of a balanced IP regulatory framework that fosters technological innovations, resulting in benefits to consumers and producers in India. The project is completed in three phases. The first phase focuses on issues and challenges pertaining to standard essential patents. The second phase involves a survey of technology start-ups in India aiming to find out how startups construe IP protection and based on evidence whether its use and conditions can be improved. It also provides a window to see how IPRs are structured in India and whether it is evolving to meet the challenges of the changing environment. The third and final phase of the project is an extension of phase two which aims to provide a richer understanding of the patenting activity, motivation and challenges of the technology start-ups in India through case study method to bring out the nuances that the broad survey method is not able to capture. Through these research studies, several issues and regulatory gaps in India’s IP regime are identified and recommendations are provided to address them.
Project details:

Regional Inclusive Growth Project
Regional project to research and promote the role of the internet in promoting inclusive growth. Research on how digital tools and platforms can help consumers in facilitating goods and services at a much lower cost, as compared to conventional practices. The research would embed the set objectives of removing barriers, improving digital literacy and empowering the consumers.
National Public Procurement Observatory (NPPO Project).
The National Public Procurement Observatory is a modest attempt to track developments in India’s procurement framework and practice, and analyse them. It will focus on three broad aspects of procurement practice, viz. Transparency, Efficiency and Competition.