Amazon is backing India to the hilt

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.

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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.

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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!

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Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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