You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Amazon reveals scorching growth in India as Flipkart fight deepens

The US online giant said it has enabled exports of Indian-made goods worth $3 billion and created over a million local jobs since it began operating in the Asian nation about a decade ago

Topics
Amazon India | Amazon | Flipkart

Saritha Rai | Bloomberg 

Bezos has made India the centerpiece of his global ambitions, a burgeoning market for not just online goods but also video content and gadgets
Bezos has made India the centerpiece of his global ambitions, a burgeoning market for not just online goods but also video content and gadgets

com Inc. offered a rare peek into the Covid-era growth of its Indian business while it battles Walmart Inc. in its biggest overseas market.

The US online giant said it has enabled exports of Indian-made goods worth $3 billion and created over a million local jobs since it began operating in the Asian nation about a decade ago -- about $1 billion of that and 300,000 jobs since January 2020 alone. About 250,000 new sellers have joined in since and more than 50,000 offline retailers and neighborhood stores are now on the platform, the company’s country chief said.

The numbers illustrate the frenetic pace of growth in Indian online retail after the pandemic accelerated buying and selling in segments beyond smartphones and fashion. But has to contend with Walmart’s and homegrown competitor Reliance Industries Ltd. in India, an increasingly important growth market since Amazon’s exit from China about a decade ago. American firms also face tightening regulations, antitrust scrutiny and accusations they’ve elbowed local players aside.

chief Amit Agarwal said the Seattle giant is on track to fulfill commitments made when founder Jeff Bezos visited the country in January 2020: to digitally enable 10 million businesses, handle e-commerce exports worth $10 billion and create 1 million additional jobs in India in the five years to 2025.

"Covid-19 has made businesses realize they need to be more resilient, robust because there’s no notion of only offline or only online anymore," chief Amit Agarwal said in a phone interview on Thursday to discuss the unit’s progress. "The internet is like electricity, everybody will use it."

Bezos has made India the centerpiece of his global ambitions, a burgeoning market for not just online goods but also video content and gadgets. The country, one of the last big consumer markets still up for grabs, will generate $200 billion in e-commerce sales by 2026, Morgan Stanley estimates.

It’s also a source of talent. Amazon has hired locally in fields like machine learning and software development, while employing an army to staff its giant fulfillment centers. It’s also profiting by helping more than 70,000 Indian exporters sell everything from toys and bed linen to jewelry and tea to 300 million customers across 200 countries.

Reliance and Flipkart, which is said to be preparing for a fourth-quarter initial public offering, are employing the same playbook but Agarwal said Indian e-commerce remains embryonic and can support several major players.

Amazon will focus on local execution while complying with local regulations as they evolve, he added. The Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Information Technology have been pondering a raft of laws and rule changes to protect consumer data and eradicate anticompetitive practices, while a backlash against US and Chinese internet giants grows. Agarwal said Amazon is compliant but stressed a stable regulatory system -- particularly during a time of heightened global uncertainty -- was essential to drawing more investment into India.

"We are more than happy to be inspected, our job is to focus on the customer and India is a long term investment for Amazon," he said. He said it’s not the time to make changes. "Changes are very disruptive and any rule changes require adherence and changes on our part."

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, April 08 2021. 17:27 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.