Indian exporters on Amazon saw 224% growth in business in 2017
New Delhi: Indian merchants selling goods to international markets through Amazon’s global selling programme (GSP) have seen 224% growth last year, the US-based company said on Wednesday.
The company, which is locked in an intense battle for market leadership in India with SoftBank-backed Flipkart, said more than 32,000 sellers in India are shipping over 90 million products to customers in countries like the US, Mexico, Spain and Japan.
“India is in a unique position where sellers are seeing growth in their business, whether they serve domestic or international markets (through GSP)...,” Amazon India general manager and director (seller services) Gopal Pillai told reporters.
“India has immense manufacturing strength in categories like clothing, leather products, gems and jewellery that account for the majority of demand abroad,” he said while launching the company’s Export Digest 2017 report.
The report includes insights into growth of Indian exporters selling globally and popular product categories offered by Indian exporters abroad. North zone saw 114% growth in exporters selling globally, followed by west zone (112%), south (81%) and east (74%).
Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh emerged as the states with most international exporters. Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata topped the charts as cities with most exporters. Smaller cities like Indore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Ghaziabad and Pune also have large number of sellers using Amazon’s platform to reach customers globally, the report noted.
It also pointed out that home decor, dinnerware and copper mugs, ethnic wear and women’s apparel had witnessed a huge demand from international customers across markets. Interestingly, Indian bedsheets have been adopted as beach towels, throws, and wall hangings, while ghee (pure ghee or clarified butter) is being used to enhance the flavour of coffee blends by many, the report said.
Merchants present at the event—who are selling goods to international markets through e-commerce platforms—said relaxation in customs policy for returned goods and in norms prescribing a limited period for storage of goods abroad will provide a fillip to their businesses.
They said relaxation in policies on limited period for storage of goods abroad will give sellers enough time to sell their goods and not bear losses on account of re-importing the goods if they are not sold within the prescribed time period of 15 months as specified under the current policy framework.
Also, exporters are expected to pay customs duty on goods (sold to consumers) coming back to India (either returned or unsold) which adds significant cost to exporters, they added. Another issue faced by sellers is that the inward remittance received often differs from the declared value in invoice during exports as pricing is dynamic.
Due to this mismatch, they said, banks and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asks the sellers for clarifications and additional documentation, which impacts their operations. They also lauded the steps taken by the government in December to resolve some of the export issues they faced.
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