Jeff Bezos Tops Up Amazon’s India Investment By $1 Billion
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, left, with Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy at Amazon’s Smbhav event in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (Photographer: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)

Jeff Bezos Tops Up Amazon’s India Investment By $1 Billion

WATCH | Jeff Bezos at Amazon's Smbhav event on Day 2 of his India visit

Jeff Bezos, who is visiting India as online retailers face a pushback, said Amazon.com Inc. will invest $1 billion in its second-largest market to bring more small businesses online and promised to eliminate single-use plastic from deliveries in the country by June.

The world’s richest man, on his second visit to India where his company has already invested more than $5 billion in six years, said the e-commerce giant is also eyeing $10 billion in export of locally produced products—in line with New Delhi’s Make in India programme—on Amazon by 2025.

Bezos’ focus on strengthening the small seller network comes when traders are protesting against online retailers such as Amazon and Flikart over discounts and exclusive tie-ups. The nation’s anti-trust regulator has also launched an investigation against the practices.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lights the ceremonial lamp with Amazon Global Senior Vice President Amit Agarwal during Amazon SMBhav event in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo: PTI)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lights the ceremonial lamp with Amazon Global Senior Vice President Amit Agarwal during Amazon SMBhav event in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo: PTI)

Bezos, however, remains optimistic. “We’re committed to being a long-term partner of India. And actions speak louder than words,” he said at an Amazon’s conference, Amazon Smbhav (Hindi for possible), on Wednesday.

More than 550,000 Indian businesses are selling on the Amazon marketplace and over 60,000 sellers are exporting their “Make in India” products worldwide, the company said in a statement. With the fresh infusion, the company aims to digitise 10 million micro, small and medium enterprises.

Bezos said that 21st century belongs to India and the nation’s partnership with the U.S. will be the most important alliance during the period.

Climate Change Push

Amazon also committed to stopping single-use plastic in deliveries by June. India is looking to abolish products like plastic cups, plates, bottles, straws, among others, by 2022.

Also Read: There’s No Easy Way Out Of The Plastic Mess

Tackling climate change is going to be a collective effort and any effort by a large organisation like Amazon can be a needle-mover.

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