Unaffected by the new government rules of e-commerce in the country, Amazon.com founder and chief executive officer Jeffrey P Bezos said in an annual letter to shareholders, unveiled on Tuesday, India is an example of how Amazon has globalised an offering like marketplace through customer obsession and passion for invention.
Amazon India is trying to seek time until September to comply with requirements for marketplaces, and the key seems to be the stipulation that one vendor can’t account for more than a fourth of sales on a platform Cloud. This might include adjustment and changes in existing operational practices. The government clarification became necessary as brick-and-mortar retailers complained that e-commerce companies were getting around the ban on overseas investment in business-to-consumer (B2C) multi-brand retail by describing themselves as marketplaces. The government said the new rules would ensure a level playing field and put an end to predatory pricing.
“In India, Amazon launched a program called Seller Flex to combine Amazon’s logistics capabilities with sellers’ selection at the local neighborhood level. Sellers set aside a part of their warehouse for storing items to be sold on Amazon, and we configure it as a fulfillment center in our network that can receive and fulfill customer orders. Our team provides guidance on warehouse layout, IT and operational infrastructure, and trains the seller on standard operating procedures to be followed onsite. We’ve now launched 25 operational Seller Flex sites across ten cities in India,” said Bezos.
Last year Amazon ran a program called Amazon Chai Cart where the company deployed three-wheeled mobile carts to navigate in a city’s business districts. In a period of four months, the team travelled 15,280 km across 31 cities and engaged with over 10,000 sellers, Bezos said.“Through this program and other conversations with sellers, we found out there was a lot of interest in selling online, but that sellers struggled with the belief that the process was time-consuming, tedious and complex. So, we invented Amazon Tatkal, which enables small businesses to get online in less than 60 minutes. Amazon Tatkal is a specially designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. Since its launch on February 17th, we have reached sellers in 25 cities,” he added.
This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales and also this year Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales, the letter said.
Besoz further said that Amazon was the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins and defended its corporate culture which was criticized globally.
“Corporate Culture: For better or for worse, they are enduring, stable, hard to change. They can be a source of advantage or disadvantage. You can write down your corporate culture, but when you do so, you’re discovering it, uncovering it – not creating it. Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another,” ,” Besoz added.