Amazon says its Launchpad programme, which helps start-ups sell their products to millions of customers, has seen immense success over the past one year, and has aligned the US e-commerce giant with the government’s Make in India and Digital India road maps. Celebrating the one year anniversary of Launchpad in India in December, Amazon said that it has more than 17,000 products listed from over 250 start-ups on its marketplace in the country. Around 50 of these have also begun selling their products in overseas markets. “We wanted to contribute our bit to Make in India and Digital India, and, therefore, wanted to support entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses. Our (India’s) ability to invent and innovate is very high, but all of us don’t get a chance to get to make that idea into business,” said Manish Tiwary, vice-president at Amazon India. “That’s why we launched the Launchpad.” Largely focussed on product and hardware start-ups, Launchpad now receives over 200 applications from start-ups across India to sell on Amazon’s marketplace. The firm says it is committed to enabling more great ideas gain visibility and access to consumers in the years to come. While Amazon does not interfere in the financial aspect of the start-ups that list products on Launchpad, it said, informally, several venture capitalists and investors were closely tracking some of the start-ups.
A few start-ups have even raised funding, but Tiwary said Amazon did not play any role in helping them on that regard. “We just tell them, at this stage, you just focus on the product and innovation and we will provide you the services to ensure you can sell to customers. Everything from listing that product to taking photographs of it, we make sure we do it in a very professional manner, which a start-up entrepreneur might not be able to do,” added Tiwary.For Amazon, the Launchpad programme fits right into one of its biggest promises to customers — getting access to a selection of products that no one else has. By helping start-ups gain access to the millions of people who shop on its platform, Amazon is looking to differentiate itself from its rivals. Out of the 250 start-ups that sell their products on Amazon through Launchpad, the company says a majority of them come from the north and west of India, followed by the south. Some work is still required to get start-ups from the east and Amazon says it is working with a few industry bodies and government agencies to ensure that happens. In terms of cities, India’s start-up hub Bengaluru comes in only at the third place when it comes to Launchpad. The number of start-ups applying to be on Launchpad and the number of start-ups that are already on the platform, Delhi and Mumbai take first and second places, respectively, Amazon said.