Pictured recently in India – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Amit Agarwal, senior VP & country head, Amazon India, during the Amazon Smbhav event at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in New Delhi
Amazon.com Inc Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday that his company would invest an additional $1 billion to help bring small businesses online in India, and also committed to using the retail giant’s “size, scope and scale” to export $10 billion of made-in-India goods by 2025.
Bezos has faced some problems in India, but he is bullish and active.
Seeking to reach out to critics, Bezos, donning traditional Indian attire, said his company was committed to be a long-term partner of India.
Bezos was into India so much – “I want to make a prediction for you. I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century.”
Why? “The dynamism, the energy… everywhere I go here, I meet people who are working in self-improvement and growth. This country has something special, democracy,” he said.
Bezos contradicted my recent blog (India and Russia the closest relationship on earth) – “I make one more prediction for you: In this 21st century, the most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the US,” Bezos added.
The firm aims to digitise 10 million MSMEs with the proposed investment. In addition to providing training and enrolling MSMEs into its programmes, Amazon will help them work on cloud technology through specialised Amazon Web Services offerings at low costs. It will also establish 100 “digital haats’ in cities and villages throughout India.
Amazon has invested $5 billion in India in the past five years. The e-commerce platform also announced plans to support local neighbourhood shops and kiranas. It will expand its Amazon Easy programme.
In many ways, India retail is leapfrogging from the corner store to fully online.
For those in the FMCG sector this is a pretty exciting opportunity. Time to get your India strategy right!