Amazon is serious about India, despite incurring multimillion dollar losses. In the last one year, the global ecommerce major has made its intentions very clear when it comes to battling for market leadership in one of the biggest playgrounds of all – starting with seeking government approval to invest $500 Mn in a wholly-owned food venture in India.
It has pushed forward with the ‘India story’ with purpose and deep pockets in India – from opening its largest fulfilment centre in Sonipat to pumping in more than $1 Bn in its wholesale business. Continuing this tradition in 2017, the Amazon Development Center has today announced the launch of two new customer service facilities. These facilities will be opened in Noida and Coimbatore, respectively, in a matter of months.
In an official statement, Raj Raghavan, Director of Human Resources (APAC), Amazon said: “…The new customer service sites facilities in Coimbatore and Noida will augment our capabilities to serve our customers better and enable Amazon to deliver consistently high levels of customer experience.”
The statement further added that the centres will be used to support Amazon with customer care experiences both pre- and post-orders through the usual channels of email, chat, and phone. According to this ET report, the company is collaborating with the Software Technology Parks India (STPI) in Coimbatore, in compliance with the India BPO promotion scheme.
“The new Coimbatore and Noida facilities will be fully operational in April and June this year, respectively. Amazon begins hiring for these two sites from this week,” the statement concluded.
With this move, Amazon has established five customer care operations across various parts of India in the last few years – two in Hyderabad in 2014 and 2015 and one in Pune in 2015.
The India Story: Major Investments And Massive Losses
The fulfilment centre and wholesale business are not the only two categories in which Amazon has invested in India. In February 2016, it had launched Amazon Now – a grocery delivery app in India to allow users to order everyday essentials. Last July, it launched Amazon Pantry – a service that offered grocery and household essentials. In December 2016, it also unveiled the Launchpad programme in India – aimed at helping Indian startups to increase their customer base globally.
Following that, it also announced the launch of its Prime Video service – an additional offering for Amazon’s Prime subscribers, including existing ones. It allows users exclusive access to movies, Amazon’s original series as well as premium content from across the globe.
Between September 2016 to December 2016, the company had reportedly invested more than $300 Mn in its wholesale business division, Amazon Business with the total capital infusion reported to be around more than $1 Bn.
But, a recent ET report also suggested that the company was not immune to the course correction and general belt-tightening being observed across verticals in the global startup ecosystem. In the quarter ending December 2016, Amazon reported losses of $487 Mn in its international business.
This loss was the result of the company trying to maintain its lead in India, the market it is most bullish on. On the other hand, the net sales for Amazon’s international segment reportedly saw a rise of 18% to $13.96 Bn during the fourth quarter. In the third quarter of 2016, Amazon’s international unit had reported a $541 Mn loss.