Online marketplace giant Amazon
India is racing against time to bring in more sellers
so that they sell more on its platform during the festive season. On Friday, it tied up with the Bank of Baroda
to offer micro loans
to its sellers.
The firm’s arm, Amazon
Seller Services Pvt Ltd (ASSPL), is bringing in more financial partners so that it can cater to its 225,000 seller base. The company had last year announced the launch of a seller lending programme in India for small and medium businesses to get fast and easy access to working capital.
The company had partnered with Capital First Limited, an independent Mumbai-based non-banking financial company (NBFC), for the programme. Capital First provides secured and unsecured loans
from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 2 crore at competitive interest rates.
According to the company, Bank of Baroda loans
would be offered on invite-only basis to sellers, based on their performance. The programme was piloted by Amazon
in July this year in association with the bank. The loans
would be extended in the range of Rs 1-25 lakh at annual interest rates between 10.45 per cent and 11.5 per cent.
In India, unsecured loans
of Rs 1-25 lakh have very low approval rates. Small-scale businesses get loans
at high annual interest rates of 18-30 per cent, with a processing time of up to 30 days. In addition, small businesses have to go through heavy documentation and due diligence to get loan approvals, executives from the bank said.
“Through our engagement with sellers, we realised that lack of financial resources can hinder the growth of small businesses as they scale up, which can impact expansion, especially ahead of the festive sales,” Amazon
India director and general manager (seller services) Gopal Pillai said.
Online marketplace players help sellers
so that they can buy or produce more and in turn sell more on their platform. Bengaluru-based online player Flipkart also offers loans
for as little as Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 crore. According to industry estimates last year, both Amazon
and Flipkart disbursed around Rs 2,500 crore in loans
to more than 350,000 sellers
“We clearly understand the specific needs of SMEs for e-commerce business and are proud to partner with Amazon
India to provide comprehensive banking solutions to their over 200,000 seller base,” the bank's managing director and CEO P S Jayakumar said. He said the bank expects to get on board 15 to 20 per cent of Amazon sellers
on this programme in the next one year.
will receive pre-approved indicative offers from the bank for the loan amount they are eligible. They will be able to use their sale disbursements on the Amazon
marketplace to directly repay the loan.