Amazon’s $5 billion bet on India is working.
At the company’s first quarter earnings call, CEO Jeff Bezos said the India arm of the ecommerce giant was already the fastest growing marketplace in the country.
“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers,” he said, highlighting the surge in Prime’s catalogue, which he claims has grown by 75 percent in the last nine months since launch in the country.
But for Amazon, which invested an additional of $3 billion in India last year, this is just the beginning. “It’s still day 1 for e-commerce in India,” Bezos said.
“I assure you that we’ll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India,” he told the investors.
As analysts at CB Insights recently pointed out, Amazon has been experimenting with different strategies in India to see what sticks. For one, the company has been offering loans to sellers so that suppliers can smoothly expand their operations and manage seasonal spikes.
“Amazon.in is also the most visited website on desktop and mobile,” Bezos says.
The company has also made a number of investments. In 2015, it invested in home services company HouseJoy, and insurance marketplace BankBazaar to broaden its foothold in the country.
The company said Amazon.in is also the most visited website on desktop and mobile platforms, citing data from comScore and SimilarWeb firms. The company’s marquee India app is the most downloaded shopping app in the country, it added, quoting analytics firm App Annie.
Part of the company’s push is also in the entertainment space. Since last year, the company has been on a spree of inking deals with local movie studios and distributors to expand Prime Video’s catalog for the Indian market.
Bezos touted that Prime Video already has 18 original TV series planned in India. Earlier this month, the company also announced the Fire TV Stick with support for local Hindi voice recognition in India, only the sixth region worldwide to get the streaming device.
“On the content side, we’ve announced A-Team in the original TV series and we’re customizing the content, so it’s a really vast selection of local and global movies and TV shows that are available to the Indian public,” SVP, Chief Financial Officer at Amazon.com added.
That’s not to say Amazon India has a clear path to success in the country. Local giant Flipkart said earlier this month that it has raised $1.4 billion from Microsoft, Tencent, and Ebay as well as previous investors to grow its business.
As part of the agreement, Flipkart also acquired Ebay’s India business. Furthermore, the Indian company is reportedly in talks to acquire Snapdeal, the third-largest ecommerce business in the country.