Amazon To Continue Investing In India Even As Losses Mount Globally
Amazon.com Inc, which has earmarked $5 billion for India, pledged to keep up the pace of investments in its second-largest market even as its international business continues to bleed.
“We’ll continue to invest in India where we’re seeing a great progress with sellers and customers,” Brian Olsavsky, chief financial officer at the world’s biggest online retailer, told investors during an earnings call. “And we like the momentum we’ve seen there.”
Seattle-based Amazon is locked in a battle with the local rival Flipkart Ltd. as smartphone penetration grows in the world’s second largest telecom market. Walmart may soon join the fight, throwing its weight behind Flipkart by acquiring a stake, Bloomberg reported.
That comes when its losses from its global operations widened from $481 million a year ago to $622 million in the three months ended March. Revenue rose 34 percent to $14.9 billion.
Amazon, which lost out to Alibaba in China, has been expanding its offerings in India. In February, it launched Amazon Music and added local content to its Prime Video. The Prime programme in India in its first year grew faster than in any other country, Olsavsky said.
Amazon launched its Prime Video service in India in 2016 to lure customers with latest movies and original content to boost stickiness within the platform. It even provides grocery on the platform. The membership that offers free and faster delivery was launched with an inaugural offer of Rs 499. The price was recently increased to Rs 999.
“We’re adding local content in India; video content, excuse me,” said Olsavsky. “We’re also adding other benefits, Prime benefits. We’re rolling out devices there, and we’re seeing Indian developers developing skills for Alexa.”
Amazon Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, in a letter to shareholders earlier this month, cited data from market analytics firms comScore and SimilarWeb to stress that it’s the fastest-growing marketplace and the most-visited site on both desktop and mobile in India.