Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has reiterated his commitment to growing the business in India, having earmarked an investment of $5 billion for the country. In a statement accompanying Amazon’s quarterly results, Bezos said on Thursday that Amazon.in was the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India. “It’s still Day 1 for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we’ll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India,” he said.
Chief financial officer Brian Olasavsky said: “As far as level of investment is concerned, it is certainly one of our important investment areas. We see a lot of potential for the country and our business there.” The Indian e-commerce space is interestingly poised with Amazon snapping at Flipkart’s heels. The US online retailer claimed gross sales volumes in the Indian market had grown 85% in the first quarter of 2017. Flipkart recently raised $1.4 billion in a fresh round of funding and from all accounts will acquire Snapdeal soon.
There are also reports of Chinese online retailer Alibaba making an entry into the Indian market. Smaller retailers, however, are struggling to make ends meet and their survival would depend on how much more financial support they are able to get from investors. Amazon India reported a loss of `3,572 crore in FY16 on a revenue of Rs 2,275 crore. Amazon has launched several new products in India; it is betting heavily on Prime, a premium programme which comes with bundled offers for shoppers.
According to market estimates, Prime members account for around 30% of all shoppers visiting the Amazon India site. The retailer has opened seven new warehouses and currently has 34 warehouses across 10 states. Citing data from analytics firms comScore and SimilarWeb, the retailer claims to be the fastest growing and the most visited site on both desktop and mobile.