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Business News/ News / India/  Amazon's B2B marketplace launches covid-19 store for frontline organisations
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Amazon's B2B marketplace launches covid-19 store for frontline organisations

Hospitals, healthcare NGOs, among others, can purchase covid-related items in bulk with GST invoices
  • B2B marketplaces aggregate suppliers across categories, and allows businesses to sign up to purchase supplies in bulk
  • Amazon reported net income of $2.54 billion in the first quarter, compared with $3.56 billion a year ago. (AP)Premium
    Amazon reported net income of $2.54 billion in the first quarter, compared with $3.56 billion a year ago. (AP)

    BENGALURU: Amazon’s B2B marketplace--Amazon Business--has launched a store for healthcare and governments, allowing bulk buying of critical medical supplies such as N95 masks, surgical masks, sanitizers and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits.

    Using the store, frontline organisations such as nursing homes, hospitals, healthcare NGOs, government agencies and other businesses can purchase covid-related items in bulk with GST invoices, the e-commerce firm said.

    “The ‘COVID-19 Supplies Store’ is our effort towards providing institutional buyers with a one-stop shop for all their needs around safety and sanitisation products..In these unprecedented times, Amazon remains committed to serve the nation by providing instant access and delivering products safely to customers across the country," said Manish Tiwary, vice-president, category management, Amazon India in a statement.

    Amazon Business is a B2B marketplace akin to China’s Alibaba, and IndiaMart that was launched in 2017. B2B marketplaces aggregate suppliers in various business categories, and allows businesses of all sizes to sign up as buyers on the marketplace to buy supplies in bulk.

    Amazon Business is focused more on the business-procurement needs of institutions such as hospitals, clinics, manufacturers, universities, schools, NGOs, government bodies, and offices.

    The e-commerce giant’s decision to double down on B2B selling comes shortly after the company admitted that its India operations were the worst hit by the covid-19 pandemic.

    Chief financial officer Brian T. Olsavsky, in a recent earnings call, said, in India, the company had stepped up sales of essential goods such as groceries. "That's cut back a lot on our offering and we will further expand when the Indian government announces that we're allowed to resume operations. So we're in a bit of a holding pattern except for grocery in India," Olsavsky added.

    The Indian government had ordered e-commerce firms to halt sales of almost all items but groceries and essentials during the first 40-day lockdown. In May, curbs were eased, with the government allowing e-tailers such as Amazon and Flipkart to start delivering non-essential items in orange and green zones.

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    Published: 11 May 2020, 04:10 PM IST
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