Amazon’s big plan to take on BigBasket, Flipkart Supermart: $500 million warchest for this initiative

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Updated: Jul 12, 2019 1:41 PM

The Indian unit of Jeff Bezos’ American behemoth Amazon has earmarked $500 million for its farm-to-fork initiative.

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Amazon India is building a war chest to invest in its ‘farm-to-fork’ initiative, under which it will retail Agri products directly from farmers to consumers, pitting it in direct competition with established grocery retailers BigBasket, Grofers, and the recently-launched Flipkart Supermart. The Indian unit of Jeff Bezos’ American behemoth Amazon has earmarked $500 million for its farm-to-fork initiative, Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice-President and Country Head, Amazon India, told ET Now.

“We have committed $5.5 billion, out of which $500 million are committed mostly to agriculture, farmers and farm-to-fork,” he said about the company’s investment plans. Amazon India’s “fully-integrated, farm-to-fork” platform has been long in the works. BigBasket is the dominant players in online grocery delivery. Recently, Flipkart launched its Supermart in May.

India is a tremendous business opportunity for Amazon, Amit Agarwal said. India’s consumption story is growing, the country’s internet using population is second only to China and the Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME) base is coming up online, he said listing out the favourable reasons. “We see tremendous opportunity in India to have a very large, active customer base, which will essentially depend on Amazon to buy anything that they wish to buy and having a very large prime base that enjoys their daily life using Amazon services,” Amit Agarwal said.

Further, Amazon India will be crucial in driving job creation, bringing sellers online and boosting sales on the online platform. “Our success in India will not only drive e-commerce growth but we may also have a big role to play in growing SME base, growing jobs and helping the Indian economy to grow,” Amit Agarwal said. 

After clothing and fashion, grocery is the fastest growing segment in online commerce. With players such as Grofers, BigBasket raising funds, and Amazon ramping up its Amazon Pantry operations, it is evident that e-grocery is a focus area for online commerce players. Amazon India had earlier said that once it gets a nod from DIPP, the next step for the company will be to directly source agri-produce from the farmers, Saurabh Srivastava, director (Consumables, FMCG), Amazon, had said in a media interview.

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