Amazon is all set to invest $1 Bn in India to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), said the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, on Wednesday, while speaking on the sidelines of the Amazon Smbhav event, which is being held at the JLN Stadium, New Delhi.
Bezos, in a conversation with Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal, told that the investment will digitise Indian SMBs and will help them to export goods valuing over $10 Bn worldwide by 2025. “The 21st century is going to be India’s century,” Bezos predicted.
Bezos, who is in India for the two-day flagship event, is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government officials to ease out regulatory challenges in the country.
Are Traders Really Happy?
In response to the Amazon Smbhav event and Bezos’ visit, thousands of small-scale traders union and associations are planning to organise protests across the country. Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had already said that it will protest across 300 cities during Amazon chief’s stay here.
The CAIT claims that Amazon and Flipkart are indulging in unethical practices to increase their online sales. The traders’ body has alleged that both these companies are flouting foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. Besides violating FDI norms, CAIT also said that these companies indulge in predatory pricing, preferential seller system, exclusive tie-ups with certain brands, among others.
More Traders More Biz
In addition to the Smbhav, Amazon has been organising numerous events to promote traders on the platform. In December 2019, the ecommerce giant had organised an Amazon Small Business Day shopping promotion. The company claimed that it saw record participation from thousands of startups, small and medium businesses, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs during its Amazon Small Business Day shopping promotion.
Businesses from over 3.3K pin code received orders from customers across India, under various categories like Amazon Karigar, Saheli and Launchpad programmes, Amazon previously claimed.
The Walmart-owned Flipkart is not far behind when it comes to luring small traders and businesses. In July 2019, Flipkart had launched its new programme called Flipkart Samarth which aims to bring India’s artisans, weavers and handicrafts producers onto their ecommerce platform. The Samarth programme provides dedicated support services for onboarding, cataloguing, account management, business insights and warehousing support among others.
Moreover, Flipkart, under this Samarth is working closely with NGOs and government bodies to promote and encourage rural entrepreneurs, with a special focus on women-led enterprises, artisans and weavers. Flipkart claims to have around 100K MSME sellers on its platform.