Amazon.com’s Indian division has surpassed the company’s expectations by selling products worth more than $1 billion in slightly over a year after it began operations in the country in June 2013, according to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant.
Bezos, who is on his first visit to India after Amazon launched its retail business in the country, told local media that the company will continue pouring money to cement its presence in India’s growing online retail market. And, in doing so, it will focus on establishing ties with local small businesses to improve the online shopping experience, Bezos told various newspapers in interviews.
“There are unique opportunities in India,” Bezos told The Financial Express, a local business newspaper, in an interview on Sunday. “One of the things that is very unusual about India is the number of small and medium size businesses that you have.”
Bezos, who recently announced that Amazon would invest $2 billion as part of its expansion plans for India, said that he is “super excited” to see the company’s growth in India over the past one year. According to him, Amazon’s India team has come up with new tools and ideas that have made it easier for smaller businesses to contribute to the digital economy and reach buyers in a more effective way.
Here is a roundup of Bezos' plans to drive Amazon's growth in India’s $3 billion online retail market.
Right Place At The Right Time
The Indian e-commerce market is growing much faster than other markets, and Amazon jumped into it at the right time, Bezos said, adding that there are several more areas in the Indian market where Amazon can invest.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to invest in India such as on the infrastructure side, transportation side, fulfillment centers, mobile, customer acquisition, product categories. This team (Amazon’s India arm) has big plans for the fashion category, for instance,” Bezos told Mint, a local business publication.
Bezos also spoke of a new initiative, called “Easy Ship,” which is expected to make it easier for small businesses to reach customers online.
“The reason why we’re making such a big investment in India is because of the evidence of success,” Bezos told The Hindu, a local newspaper. “What we do is, when we see that things are working, if we have ideas of how to invest further, we would like to do that. We want to continue investing in things that are working very well.”
Asked if the much-talked-about drone deliveries are anywhere near implementation in India, Bezos said that the company has made significant progress on the technology side, but it is yet to get approval from regulators studying the safety of drone deliveries.
Room For Everyone
On the question of competition, the fiercely competitive Bezos said that e-commerce markets are large enough to accommodate several players but added that Amazon intends to tackle rivals by focusing on the consumer.
“I think that selection is important; making sure that the service we offer to small and medium businesses as we connect them with buyers remains defect-free; make it so low-cost that those people then can afford to offer customers at lower prices; making sure that our delivery is fast and reliable and doing all this over and over again,” Bezos told The Hindu.
Take It Or Leave It
Amazon, which posted a loss of $126 million in the June quarter, has reportedly been pressurized by some investors to reduce spending and focus more on improving profits. However, Bezos said that the company has “never tried to convince anyone that they should be an investor in Amazon."
“And then, because investors come in all shapes and sizes, they have different investment horizons, they have different investment theses—if we’re clear about our approach, then they can self select,” Bezos told Mint.