India's e-commerce to generate 2.5 lakh jobs in 2016, Picture: A worker of Indian e-commerce company scans barcode on a box after it was packed at the company's warehouse in New Delhi on 20 April, 2015.Reuters

Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl has said that by March 2016, his company will beat the reigning online marketplace leader Flipkart in terms of sales.

"The one thing I am very, very clear about right now is that I think we're going to be No. 1 (in terms of sales) by March 2016. I think we're going to beat Flipkart by then," he told The Economic Times in an interview.

Bahl said that Snapdeal's gross merchandise value (GMV) reached $4 billion (about Rs 26,000 crore) in August, up from $1 billion a year ago. GMV refers to total value of goods sold by an online retailer.

"It took us two-and-a-half years to reach GMV of $1 billion, a milestone that we reached on July 31 last year. This month we've crossed $4 billion. It took us only a year to go from $1 billion to $4 billion. We hit $3 billion about three-odd months back. The acceleration has been very significant," said Bahl.

Snapdeal raised about  $500 million in a fresh round of funding earlier this month from Alibaba Group, Foxconn and SoftBank. The deal also saw the participation by its existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and Premji Invest. 

The participation of Foxconn and Alibaba is expected to significantly help the company, as the investments made by the two companies are considered long-term, compared to private equity and hedge funds "that have shorter redemption windows."

The funding is likely to enable Snapdeal's ambition of becoming the numero uno player in online marketplace in India by way of acquisitions.

In June, Bengaluru-based Flipkart had raised its GMV target to $10-12 billion by March 2016, compared to an earlier estimate of $8 billion. Flipkart had achieved a GMV of $4 billion in the last fiscal year ending March 2015.

Snapdeal's challenge to Flipkart indicates an intensifying rivalry among the players to dominate the fast growing e-commerce sector in the country. 

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