India is at the cusp of a digital revolution. Internet has become an integral part of the growing urban Indian population. Various factors have been driving this trend, such as declining broadband subscription prices, the launch of 3G services leading to an everincreasing number of “netizens”, urban India’s changing lifestyle, convenience of online shopping, and changes in the supporting ecosystem.

Although the trend of e-Commerce has been making rounds in India for 15 years, the appropriate ecosystem has now started to fall in place. The e-Commerce market in India has enjoyed phenomenal growth of almost 50% in the last five years.

This is mostly due to such factors as a considerable rise in the number of internet users, growing acceptability of online payments, proliferation of internet-enabled devices, and favourable demographics.

The number of users making online transactions in India is expected to grow from 11 million in 2011 to 38 million in 2015. Venture capitalists (VC) and private equity players have demonstrated their faith in the growth of e-Commerce in the country. This is amply substantiated by the significant increase in the total investments (US$305 million in 2011 against US$55 million in 2010).

There are three main modes of online transactions. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C), used chiefly for online classifieds and online travel, business-to-consumer (B2C), mostly in the area of online retail, online classifieds, digital downloads, financial services, online travel, and finally business-to-business (B2B).


There are advantages and disadvantages of e-Commerce. The former include:

• Annual disposable income per household to grow by two-and-a-half times by 2015
• Discretionary spending expected to form a major portion of expenditure in India
• Proliferation expected in the sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones
• More Indians’ increasing time spent online
• Probability of growth in internet user base, mirroring that of the voice user base
• Volume and average value of transactions higher for credit cards than debit cards
• Increase in the number of payment options


while the latter are as follows:

• Low average broadband speed and flat average internet speed cause for concern
• Online payment landscape marred by low penetration of credit and debit cards
• High failure rate of online payment transactions


Adapted from EY.com



Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) a turning point that marks a new trend: __________
2) to introduce a product to the market: __________
3) an increase / a spread: __________
4) job and other advertisements: __________
5) the group of permanent users: __________
6) the amount of financial operations: __________
7) a reason to be worried: __________
8) a large percentage of unsuccessful events: __________
9) troubled by: ___________
10)insufficient presence on the market: __________
11)sufficiently evidenced: __________
12)people who are comfortable using the Internet: __________



Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) a digital                 a trend
2) to drive                 a growth
3) declining              demographics
4) to fall in                revolution
5) to enjoy                equity
6) favourable           place
7) venture                 income
8) private                  capitalists
9) disposable            spending
10) discretionary     prices



Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) uznaniowy
2) kapitał prywatny
3) przedsięwzięcie
4) korzystna sytuacja demograficzna
5) dochód rozporządzalny
6) być siłą napędową jakiegoś zjawiska
7) wprowadzić usługę
8) odzwierciedlać
9) płatności elektroniczne
10) średnia
11) inwestor dostarczający kapitału wysokiego ryzyka
12) niewystarczająca obecność na rynku



Grammar corner…


In one of the bullet points relating to the disadvantages of e-Commerce in India, you have seen this sentence: Low average broadband speed and flat average internet speed cause for concern. Since you know the rules of English grammar, you have probably noticed that there is something missing here. We should either say … cause concern OR are a cause for concern. However, this was not a mistake, but
rather a stylistic measure. Sometimes, in order to sound more concise (i.e. short and sweet) or to increase formality, we drop some parts of sentences. This stylistic trick is also used by journalists in catchy headlines. What we usually drop is function and grammatical words like articles (e.g. a, an, the), prepositions (e.g. at, in, on), and auxiliaries (e.g. do, did, have, had). It takes a bit of practice to recognize what can be dropped, which you will have a chance to do in the exercise below.


Exercise 4

Develop the following into FULL sentences:

1) Murder investigation team baffled. =>
2) Man held over London burglary. =>
3) Tax cut vowed by government. =>
4) Protest rally organizers apprehended. =>
5) Protesters to meet President Tuesday. =>
6) Advertising agency in million-dollar merger negotiations. =>
7) Prime Minister announces resignation. =>
8) Laid off bankers lining up at soup kitchens. =>
9) Young employees to be affected if minimum wage voted. =>
10)President to resign following scandal. =>



at the cusp of – u progu
to launch a product – wprowadzić produkt na rynek
a proliferation of – rozprzestrzenianie się
classifieds – ogłoszenia (np. o pracę)
user base – grupa stałych klientów
the volume of transactions – ilość przeprowadzonych transakcji
a cause for concern – powód do niepokoju (np. inwestorów)
failure rate – odsetek niepowodzeń
a market marred by something – rynek borykający się z problemem
penetration of the market – obecność produktu na rynku
amply – należycie / obficie
netizens – osoby sprawnie posługujące s ię internetem
to drive a trend – być siłą napędową pewnego zjawiska
favourable demographics – korzystna sytuacja demograficzna
venture capitalists – inwestorzy dostarczający kapitału wysokiego ryzyka
private equity – kapitał prywatny
disposable income – dochód rozporządzalny
discretionary – uznaniowy / według uznania
to vow – przyrzec / przysiąc
a protest rally – manifestacja / protest
to apprehend a person – ująć / aresztować osobę
to substantiate something – udowodnić coś
to be baffled – być skonfundowanym


download lesson (pdf)




Ex. 1
1) a cusp
2) to launch a product
3) proliferation
4) classifieds
5) a user base
6) the volume of transactions
7) a cause for concern
8) a high failure rate of
9) marred by
10)low market penetration
11)amply substantiated

Ex. 2
1) a digital revolution
2) to drive a trend
3) declining prices
4) to fall in place
5) to enjoy a growth
6) favourable demographics
7) venture capitalists
8) private equity
9) disposable income
10)discretionary spending

Ex. 3
1) discretionary
2) private equity
3) a venture
4) favourable demographics
5) disposable income
6) to drive a trend
7) to launch a service
8) to mirror
9) online payments
10)an average
11)a venture capitalist
12)low market penetration

Ex. 4
1) The team which is conducting the murder investigation is baffled.
2) A man was held over a burglary in London.
3) A tax cut was / has been vowed by the government.
4) The organizers of a protest rally were / have been apprehended.
5) The protesters are scheduled to meet with the President on Tuesday.
6) An advertising agency is participating in the million-dollar merger negotiations.
7) The Prime Minister announces his resignation.
8) The laid-off bankers are lining up at the soup kitchens.
9) Young employees are supposed to be affected in the minimum wage is voted.
10)The President is expected to resign following the scandal.