Amazon India

Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Amazon plans to empower businesses using technology, lower cost of operations, and build infrastructure and logistics to enable fast and free delivery, India head Amit Agarwal said, as the e-commerce company completes eight years in India.

Unlike last year when e-commerce firms were allowed to deliver essentials and adhere to norms under a national lockdown, during the ongoing second wave of covid-19, the lockdown rules were diverse.

“The last 15 months have been challenging. In the last two months, we have pivoted to keep our employees safe. This time around, the different kinds of lockdowns (across states) were complicated. We are a tech company and we adjusted our business accordingly as customers were looking to shop online. We couldn’t serve customers the same way as we do normally,” Agarwal, who is also Amazon’s global senior vice-president, said in an interview.

“What is humbling to see is how customers and sellers are relying on us and it is a testament to how far we have come from selling books with a few hundred sellers. Our focus now is also on bringing small, medium businesses back in line because they have been disrupted,” Agarwal added.

Amazon on Wednesday completed the first dose of vaccination for over 100,000 people, including employees, their dependents and frontline associates. The on-site vaccination events are currently on in 26 cities, and being extended to more places. It is also helping small businesses with insurance, vaccination and working capital and has invested 120 crore so far towards this.

Amazon India in April said small and medium sellers on its platform sold goods worth over $3 billion to foreign buyers since the company began its export-focused global selling programme in 2015. It has digitized 2.5 million micro, small and medium entrepreneurs and helped create 1 million jobs in the country till date. It enabled $1 billion in exports from manufacturers in India to customers worldwide in the last year.

Amazon’s Global Selling programme, also operational in other markets, has helped 70,000 India-based sellers to reach 17 global markets. The biggest market for Amazon’s Indian exporters is the US.

Agarwal said Amazon India will continue to add sellers, product selection and support small businesses, who due to the pandemic, are looking at supplementing their offline business with online presence.

This article was first published on livemint.com.


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