Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

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

Amazon India completed five years of operations in the country on 5 June and is bracing up for a stiffer e-commerce battle here following the Flipkart-Walmart deal

New Delhi: Amazon.com Inc. founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos on Wednesday said the progress seen in the e-commerce firm’s India business within five years of operations is “energising".

In a letter to customers on Amazon.in’s home page, Bezos said the company had launched its services on 5 June 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.

Bezos cited examples of growth across areas like seller and customer addition, delivery infrastructure as well as products like Kindle and Alexa.

Amazon, which competes with home-grown rival Flipkart in India, has pumped in substantial funding to expand its operations in the country and build delivery infrastructure. Bezos has committed an investment of $5 billion in the Indian market. The competition is set to intensify following US retailer Walmart Inc. announcing a $17 billion deal last month to acquire about 77% stake in Flipkart.

Read all about the Flipkart-Walmart deal here

Media reports say Amazon is looking at ramping up its investment in India by as much as $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, its marketplace and wholesale business. These investments have been directed towards building warehouses, strengthening logistics and increasing product assortment.

During a recent investor call, Amazon chief financial officer 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 $622 million from international operations in the first quarter of 2018.

The company is also investing significantly in marketing and promotions as it looks to bring more consumers to its online retail platform.

Amazon Seller Services, the India marketplace unit of the US e-commerce firm, saw its losses widen to Rs4,830.6 crore for 2016-17 fiscal from Rs3,679.9 crore in the previous year, according to 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".

Amazon Seller Services, however, saw its revenue rising 43% to Rs3,256.6 crore in the year ended March 2017 from Rs2,276 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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