Progress in Amazon India’s business is energising, says CEO Jeff Bezos

The founder and CEO of Amazon said the progress seen in the company's India business within five years of operations is energising and that he is humbled by the opportunities ahead

Jeff Bezos in a letter to customers cited examples of growth across areas like seller and customer addition, delivery infrastructure as well as products like Kindle and Alex

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said the progress seen in the company’s India business within five years of operations is energising. In a letter to customers on Amazon.in’s homepage, Bezos said the company had launched its services on June 5, 2013, with a vision to transform the way India buys and sells. “The progress is energising…we’re five years into our journey but as we say here at Amazon, it’s still Day 1, and I’m energised and humbled by the opportunities ahead,” he wrote.

He cited examples of growth across areas like seller and customer addition, delivery infrastructure as well as products like Kindle and Alexa. The company, which is competing with homegrown rival Flipkart in the Indian market, has pumped in substantial funding to expand its operations in the country and build delivery infrastructure.

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Bezos has committed an investment of USD five billion in the Indian market. The competition is set to intensify following US retailer Walmart announcing a USD 16 billion deal last month to acquire about 77 per cent stake in Flipkart (registered in Singapore). Reports said Amazon is looking at ramping up its investment here by as much as USD 2 billion, giving the India unit more ammunition. The company, however, has not commented on these reports.

Amazon has been infusing funds into its various entities in India, including Amazon Pay, marketplace and wholesale business. These investments have been directed towards building warehouses, strengthening logistics and increasing product assortment. During a recent investor call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky had said the company would continue to invest in India as it sees great progress with both sellers and customers, even as the parent entity registered a loss of USD 622 million from international operations in the first quarter of 2018.

The company is also investing significant money in marketing and promotions as it looks to bring more consumers to its online shopping platform. Amazon Seller Services, the India marketplace unit of the US e-tail giant, saw its losses widening to Rs 4,830.6 crore for 2016-17 fiscal from Rs 3,679.9 crore in the previous year, as per regulatory documents filed with the corporate affairs ministry. The company attributed the increase in net loss to investments made towards “establishing infrastructure, opening new fulfilment centres and technology advancements”.

However, Amazon Seller Services saw its revenue rising 43 per cent to Rs 3,256.6 crore in the year ended March 2017 from Rs 2,276 crore in the previous financial year. The company, which is also investing in launching new products and services for its customer and sellers, had further said that it is confident of its future growth in India.

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