Amazon pledge $45-bn investments in India


New Delhi : Inc, the world’s largest online retailer, said on Wednesday that it would invest another $3 billion in India after the company exhausted its earlier pledge of $2 billion. The announcement isn’t just an indication that the US firm is going in for the kill in its market share battle with local rivals Flipkart Ltd and Snapdeal, but a “take that” gesture to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd which recently announced its entry into India . And unlike in China, where it entered late, Amazon has made all the right moves in India.

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 a news agency 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. 

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.