Amazon now has customers in 100% serviceable pin-codes in India: Jeff Bezos

By Karan Choudhury , Business Standard | In Digital
Last updated : June 12, 2018 05:11 AM
If things fall in place, then a deal with a major offline retailer might happen by the end of this year, according to a source.

Amazon.in might be the most visited shopping site in India, but for Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of the technology giant, it is still Day 1 in what may be the second-most important market for the firm outside the US.

Amazon

Bezos, in a letter to customers, said that Amazon now has customers in 100 per cent serviceable pin-codes in the country and is shipping packages from more than 50 fulfillment locations in 13 states.

From talking about how Alexa plays devotional songs in local Indian languages to Amazon India working closely with communities in rural areas, Bezos said that the online marketplace has now become part of the country's culture and has adapted all its services and offerings accordingly.

Stressing that Amazon India has captured the top spot for the last two years, Bezos pointed out that amazon.in is the most visited site in the country.

Amazon, which has completed five years in India, has managed to reach the top spot while taking on local favourites Snapdeal and Flipkart. Bezos, in a letter to customers, said that Amazon now has customers in 100 per cent serviceable pin-codes in the country and is shipping packages from more than 50 fulfillment locations in 13 states.

"We're five years into our journey, but as we say at Amazon, its Day 1, and I am energised and humbled by the opportunities ahead. Amazon.in is India ki apni dukaan," he said in the letter.

Bezos also said that the company is working with 'tens of thousands' of third-party developers to increase the capabilities of its voice assistant 'Alexa'.

In the past five years, Amazon has grown from just one seller to 300,000. During the last one year itself, amazon.in expanded its network of third-party affiliates and service providers to ensure that sellers from non-metros and smaller towns get easy access and the required support to start and manage their online businesses, he added.

According to industry analysts, Amazon has pumped more than $3 billion into its Indian operations. One of its India units, Amazon Seller Services, alone has received over $1.28 billion during the financial year 2017-18 from the US parent, as per documents filed with India's corporate affairs ministry.

Bezos had committed investments of $5 billion for the Indian market. However, industry insiders believe that the number is going to increase significantly over the next few months with Walmart planning to expand Flipkart's operations. Investments have also been made in other Amazon entities in India, including Amazon Pay and its wholesale business.

According to sources, the global e-commerce giant has also started preliminary discussions with Indian supermarket, hypermarket and retail companies for a stake in any one of these firms. The company plans to increase its offline reach in India.

While talks are still at a preliminary stage, sources said major retail players have held discussions with Amazon. Recently, after the announcement of the Flipkart-Walmart deal, Future Group's founder Kishore Biyani had indicated he was ready to sell a stake to the global retailer.

Sources said Biyani held discussions with both Amazon and Walmart. Some regional hypermarket and supermarket players have also had held discussions with Amazon.

Sources said these discussions were not a reaction to Walmart buying 77 per cent of Flipkart for $16 billion, as Amazon has had offline plans for a long time.

"Just like in the United States, it wants to expand its reach in retail. Amazon has had discussions with some of the companies but things are still at an early stage. If things fall in place, then a deal with a major retailer might happen by the end of this year," said the source. Amazon India, however, refused to comment on the issue.

First Published : June 06, 2018 05:26 AM
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