India’s Diverse Bazaars to Democratise with Metaverse, Says BWA Chief; Hails Reliance and Nykaa

The metaverse technology seems to have a bright future in India, use cases of which are being foreseen in plenty by experts from the industry. In a recent conversation with Gadgets360, Dilip Chenoy, the chairperson of Bharat Web3 Association highlighted a special industrial use case of the metaverse. Chenoy said, the hyper-realistic visuals that metaverse supports – will democratise the diverse bazaar ecosystem of the country and give it a powerful nudge on a global level.

“AI-powered vendors will engage in negotiations digitally. Augmented Reality (AR) will allow you to virtually try on makeup, clothes, and accessories before making a purchase. This is not a distant reality; it’s the transformative potential the metaverse holds for Indian retail. In India, brands such as Reliance and Nykaa are at the forefront, experimenting with AR/ VR technologies to create virtual showrooms,” Chenoy told Gadgets360.

The upcoming time has been termed as an ‘era of transformation’ for India’s retail sector. As far as the growth projection for the sector is concerned, India’s value retail market, excluding food and grocery, will likely surge to $170 billion (roughly Rs. 14,09,495 crore) by 2026, reports citing findings by Wazir Advisors had claimed in January. In 2023, the valuation of India’s value retail sector stood at $111 billion (roughly Rs. 9,20,317 crore).

Chenoy has expressed confidence that ample availability of metaverse technology will contribute heavily to the growth of Indian bazaars and authentic crafts in nearing times.

“Geographical barriers crumble, providing small businesses in India with the opportunity to reach global audiences. As India enthusiastically embraces this digital revolution, the future of shopping promises to be both exhilarating and transformative,” the chief of BWA added.

India stands out globally with one of the largest Web3 developer workforces, several players from the industry including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong have applauded in recent years. Earlier this year, Mark Zukerberg’s Meta also reached out to the telecom regulator of India seeking to ramp up dialogues and discussions around the ethical use-cases and development of technologies like AI and the metaverse.

Under the circumstances, Chenoy says, all India needs is a regulatory clarification that finalises the dos and don’ts for members and stakeholders of the Web3 industry.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a proactive stance by actively encouraging blockchain adoption in payment systems and guiding banks through its regulatory sandbox initiative. Despite the growing interest, regulatory uncertainty poses a hurdle for startups venturing into the space. Clear regulations and policies are imperative to instil confidence in companies exploring this transformative technology,” Chenoy noted.

The BWA came into existence in November 2022. It comprises of representatives from India’s crypto and Web3 space who collectively collaborate with the government to foster the growth of the sector in India.

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