Amazon Inc to invest another $3 b in India

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 08, 2016

Bezos   -  Reuters

JEFF BEZOS, Founder, Amazon

Global e-commerce giant is ramping up its investments in India, pumping in $3 billion on top of the $2-billion investment announced in 2014.

The fresh round of funding comes at a time when other online retailers in India, including Snapdeal and Flipkart, are struggling to secure new investors.

Making the announcement in Washington DC, at an event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said: “We have created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy. Our team is surpassing even our most ambitious milestones.”

Amit Agarwal, Country Head, Amazon India, told BusinessLine the fresh fund infusion reiterates the Indian market’s importance for Amazon. 

Agarwal gave no details of the time-frame for the fresh investment, but said that company would continue to work on its strategy of providing good customer experience, helping SMEs grow on its platform and growing the product selection everyday. India will continue to be a hub of innovation for the parent company, he added.

“We are working to find innovative ways to reduce the cost of operations so that we can pass on the benefits to our sellers and customers. We want to transform the way India buys and sells,” Agarwal said.

Focus areas

The key focus areas for Amazon in 2016 are its hyperlocal business, Amazon Now, and its assisted shopping offline outlet, Udaan. “Amazon Now has grown three times in just three months, and we plan to roll it out in other cities this year,” Agarwal added. The service is currently available only in Bengaluru.

Udaan, under which the company has tied up with several offline retail stores and chains that will act as delivery and pick-up centres, was launched last year to cater to Amazon’s keenness to be near to its customers all the time, Agarwal said. The service is being offered in 11 States with partners such as Vakrangee, SmartBuy and Connect India.

Analysts say Udaan symbolises Amazon’s offline strategy in India to thwart competition from the Tata Group, the Aditya Birla Group and Arvind, which have unveiled their omni-channel strategies over the past year.

Amazon’s $3 billion additional investment in India could also be to prepare for the imminent entry of Chinese rival Alibaba.

According to the latest ComScore report, Amazon India has become the most visited e-commerce platform in India, pipping its rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal in a market that is pegged at $5 billion.

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Published on June 08, 2016
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