Amazon India has announced that it has begun pre-positioning its disaster relief material comprising shelter and hygiene kits so that the company can respond to communities in need, in less than 72 hours. The e-commerce giant will leverage its logistics network to move relief items quickly and efficiently across the country, among other corporate social responsibility (CSR) related community efforts. 

These relief materials, which will be stored in warehouses, will be transported using Amazon’s logistics network. There are currently three centres across Delhi, Bombay and Hyderabad. The company’s disaster relief efforts have been operational for two years now.

Amazon India has partnered with over 160 non-profits to implement more than 20 programs and 170+ projects. The company says according to its estimates it has reached over 7.8 million people nationwide through community engagement. 

Speaking to Businessline, Manish Tiwary, Vice President and Country Manager for Amazon India, said, “We have a fair degree of muscle in logistics. We ensure that within 72 hours, we supply to our related NGO partners everything the affected communities need. Like we deliver goods across the country, we will place disaster relief goods across our network. We maximise our current strengths to be more impactful.”

Section 135 of the Companies Act states that a company with a net worth of more than ₹500 crore, a turnover of more than ₹1000 crore, and a net profit of more than ₹5 crore must reserve at least 2 percent of its average net profits for CSR. However, Amazon claims to have been spending more than just 2 percent of its CSR mandate since 2020. In FY23, the company’s global CSR spending exceeded $350 million. 

Through the Amazon Future Engineer programme, students from diverse backgrounds are taught computer science. These educational efforts are backed by numerous scholarship programmes. Tiwary stated that Amazon currently has around 200 interns who graduated from the programme. Some of these schools also have access to Alexa’s voice technology. 

“Our approach to CSR is not based on financial benefits. We believe that for Amazon to be successful in India, we must work with our communities to ensure that a positive impact. And our philosophy is to adopt our same approach of customer centricity – to understand the areas where people would like us to help.”

Through other campaigns revolving around health and hygiene awareness, Amazon India claims to have reached around 20,000 women and girls. It has set up sanitary napkin production units in cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore. These manufacturing units provide a livelihood for rural women through a cost-effective model and ensure the availability of environmentally responsible products for over 2,000 rural women and girls in their neighbourhoods.

In May, the Global Month of Volunteering, Amazon has focused on education, food security, sustainability, and women empowerment. With over 150 events nationwide and partnerships with more than 40 non-profits, over 35,000 Amazon India employees have volunteered in several activities.