Amazon’s mission is to transform the way India buys and sells: Amit Agarwal

Priyanka Pani Unnati Joshi Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018

Amit Agarwal, Country Manager, Amazon India

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has completed two years of operations in India. While it has not been a smooth ride for the American online marketplace in the country with several issues ranging from uncertainties over FDI regulations to unclear taxation laws, these issues have not deterred the company from carrying out innovations.

Amit Agarwal, Country Manager, Amazon India, talks to BusinessLine on the online retailer’s journey so far, future plans and innovations being carried out to make online shopping easy and convenient not only for consumers but also profitable for its sellers. The company is now focusing on its hyper-local business “Kirana Now”. Edited excerpts:

How has the e-commerce landscape changed in the last two years? How has Amazon fared during this period?

Our mission in India is same as our global mission to become the earth’s most customer-centric company, specifically in India our mission is to transform the way India buys and sells and we use the word transform because India is very early in its journey of how it consumes right.

So, we believe that there is transformation is possible through innovation on both sides, on the buying and selling side.

What have been Amazon’s key focus areas in India?

The main focus in the first year was to build a great customer experience, bring sellers to our platform and bring selection for the best customer experience.

In the second year, we are focusing on effectively reducing the cost throughout the ecosystem, whether it’s the cost of transportation, whether it’s the cost of warehousing or whether it’s the cost of driving traffic. All these costs are being passed on to our sellers at a low-cost which has resulted in lower prices for our customers.

In the last eight quarters, we have built India’s largest online store with more than 20 million items.

We have been able provide fast and reliable delivery. Seventy per cent of the customers demand that they get product the next day. We have gone ahead with same day guarantee delivery and even Sunday delivery.

What kind of traction have you witnessed through the omni-channel routes, which includes Kirana Now and Amazon pick-ups?

Kirana Now is our big flagship initiative where we are empowering the small mom and pop stores with technology in processing so that they can offer very fast and reliable service to the customers.

We are starting with everyday essentials and we are starting with a few pincodes in Bengaluru. Our initial pilot is very encouraging and we wish to continue to expand this.

What are some interesting trends that will change the e-commerce landscape in next few years?

I think that even if you will go back and look at US which is 20-years-old in its e-commerce industry, the rate of innovation is higher than ever before so you should be rest assured that India for the next 20 years, many new models will emerge, a lot of innovations will happen.

However, one thing will never change and that is, customers would still want massive selection, low prices, and fast and reliable delivery. So all our focus and energy is directed towards how do we offer our customer to find and discover and to buy anything in the most competitive prices and get it delivered fast and reliably.

Is Amazon’s Indian operation self-sustaining or are you looking for more funds?

We are always investing to build a great customer experience and we are here in India for foreseeable decades.

We will require an investment very aggressively and we shall continue to invest very aggressively.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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