Amazon announced on January 15, 2020 that it plans to invest US $1 billion to digitally enable micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and traders across India, including manufacturers, resellers, local offline shops, and brands. The company aims to digitize 10 million MSMEs with this investment, helping Indian businesses grow by selling online worldwide and enabling US $10B in cumulative exports by 2025.
As part of this effort, Amazon will establish 100 Digital Haats in cities and villages throughout India. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the plan in front of thousands of MSMEs at the inaugural Amazon SMBhav Summit in New Delhi earlier on January 15, 2020.
“We’re committed to being a long-term partner of India. And actions speak louder than words,” said Bezos. “Over the next five years, Amazon will invest an incremental US$1 billion to digitize micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before. This initiative will use Amazon’s global footprint to create US$10 billion in India exports by 2025. Our hope is that this investment will bring millions more people into the future prosperity of India and at the same time expose the world to the ‘Make in India’ products that represent India’s rich, diverse culture.”
Today, there are more than 550,000 sellers on the Amazon India marketplace and more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands are exporting their “Make in India” products to customers worldwide on Amazon. With today’s announcement, Amazon will help Indian MSMEs grow their cumulative exports to US$10 billion by 2025 through the Amazon Global Selling program, which enables businesses to sell on Amazon marketplaces globally.
Amazon will establish Digital Haats in 100 cities, villages, and communities to help businesses integrate into the digital economy. The Digital Haats will provide services like e-commerce onboarding, imaging and cataloging, warehouse space, logistics, digital marketing, and compliance. Digital Haats will be in local neighborhoods and available to MSMEs irrespective of their association with Amazon. To support local neighborhood shops and kiranas, Amazon will be expanding the Amazon Easy and “I Have Space” programs to provide additional income opportunities. Through Amazon Easy, kirana shops will be able to set up kiosks to provide assistance to their customers in choosing the right product, placing an order on Amazon and earning commission on the sales. Through “I Have Space”, local stores can expand their income by using their shops as a mini delivery center and delivering products ordered on Amazon in their neighborhood.
In addition to the Digital Haats and expansion of Amazon Easy and “I Have Space” programs, Amazon will continue creating opportunities for MSMEs across India through:
- Enabling digital businesses: Amazon will continue helping MSMEs through programs like Saheli, a program that provides training and skills development to women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by selling online, and Karigar, a program to help local weavers and artisans sell their handloom and hand-crafted products to a large customer base directly on Amazon.
- Making it easy to sell globally: With tens of thousands of MSMEs– including local shops, manufacturers, resellers, and brands – already selling their products worldwide through Amazon Global Selling, the company will continue investing in best-in-class logistics solutions like Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) to ensure any seller – of any size – can seamlessly reach customers around the world.
- Growing income by partnering with Amazon: Amazon has made it easier than ever for local businesses to use their existing space to generate income through programs like “I Have Space” and Amazon Easy. Thousands of Indian businesses are growing by partnering with Amazon through logistics programs.
- Maximizing business efficiency: Indian businesses can harness the power of cloud technology through specialized Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings tailored for MSMEs that lower business costs. With the power of AWS, businesses can provision the amount of resources that they actually need, knowing they can instantly scale up or down as their demands change.
Bezos detailed Amazon’s Digitize India pledge in the first-ever Amazon SMBhav Summit, a two-day event hosting more than 3,000 businesses, traders, startups, and technology solution companies. The event is designed to provide MSMEs in India an opportunity to engage with Amazon on how to expand their growth nationally and internationally, share learnings, understand new opportunities for online businesses in India, and get insights into future trends. During the Summit, Bezos presented three Small Business Awards to local Indian businesses for Digital SMB of the year, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and Global SMB of the Year. In addition to Bezos, speakers included Mr. Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder – Infosys; Mr. Kishore Biyani, Founder & CEO – Future Group; and other industry leaders from across the spectrum of digital businesses.
Amazon’s mission in India is to build a sustainable environment that fosters innovation, creates job opportunities, and helps Indian businesses reach customers globally. The micro, small and medium-size businesses selling on Amazon.in are located across the country including Tier 2 and 3 cities, where they are generating jobs and transforming the retail landscape of the country.