There are leaders in Indian online deals market like Snapdeal, DealsandYou, Mydala, SoSasta, GOAT and LivingSocial. Some more major players are KhojGuru, Dealivore, Koovs, OffersforShoppers, BagitToday and Timesdeal.
Giants are taking dives into the sea of group buying or discount services with their own variants. Rediff joined the already jam-packed Indian daily deals market lately (http://dealhojaye.rediff.com/). This news comes concomittantly when the web giants, Google and Facebook, announced their entry into this territory with Offers (https://www.google.com/offers) and Deals (http://www.facebook.com/deals) respectively. Other global giants present are Yahoo (http://deals.yahoo.com), MSN (http://deals.msn.com/) and eBay (http://deals.ebay.com/).
The entry of such international big companies in Indian deals arena clearly shows that this business is burgeoning rapidly in India. So going to the core of it, why deals are working in India? They have especially immense response in the larger cities like Mumbai. People have got acquainted with using services like spa or restaurant. Redemption rate of coupons is seen to be high on such services. Going to resorts for outing, for a day or two has also become very common. If such resorts offer heavy discounts in off-season, they are definitely making money at no loss.
Some sites offer buying in group. When minimum number of purchases are being made then only the discount holds valid. This encourages you to provoke like-minded ones from your network to buy that. Indirectly you are marketing for a service or product. Sometimes you do this for free (because you want to avail the heavy discount for yourself) while sometimes the site pays you. You bring referrals and you get further discount or a fixed amount incentive! Win-win situation. Group buying is highly popular amongst youths.
These days people in India are also equally crazy about branded items. There is enough margin in branded items to offer them at considerable discount rates. From the merchant's side too these deals are profitable. The merchandise is being bought in bulk, so he can easily afford to give bulky discounts. Or the second is his merchandise is being sold in off-season. For sure the deals' site which has direct dealing with the manufacturers can offer the best and hence can attract maximum online customers.
I think it is the right time to enter into this business in India. As it is still in its infancy, business-owners have umpteen opportunities to make most out of it as well to expand their business.