Amazon is doubling down in India. CEO Jeff Bezos recently wrapped up a visit, promising huge investments in the country’s online ecosystem.
At the end of the week, the eCommerce giant pledged to create one million new jobs in India by 2025. The roles will span multiple business lanes, including cloud computing, IT, manufacturing, and retail. Additionally, new positions will be incremental to the 700,000 jobs that Amazon has already helped India create in recent years.
The announcement is Amazon’s second headliner of the week. Bezos earlier committed $1 billion to help jump-start small and medium-sized businesses in India. He wants to help 10 million more business owners establish online operations. Already, over 550,000 sellers and 60,000 brands use the Amazon India marketplace.
Amazon’s Push in India
Amazon has been steadily building its presence and influence in India. Since 2014, the company’s employee base has quadrupled. The Seattle-based retailer also opened its largest office building in the world in Hyderabad, which houses 15,000 employees.
Bezos sees tremendous growth opportunities in India, where Walmart-subsidiary Flipkart currently dominates online retail. Walmart purchased Flipkart in 2018 for a whopping $16 billion and has since held tightly onto the top position. The companies are competing for big slices of a $200 billion market that is projected to increase to $670 billion by 2027.
According to Bezos, Amazon’s investments could help local traders export $10 billion in Indian merchandise in the first half of this decade alone. The company also struck a deal with the India-based company, Future Retail, to bolster its physical presence across the country. Through the partnership, Amazon customers will be able to pick up orders at Future Retail locations.
Facing In-country Resistance
However, not everyone in India wants to see more of Amazon. India’s antitrust regulator is investigating whether or not Amazon and Flipkart are both undercutting local businesses. People protested against Bezos in New Delhi, where he addressed small business owners at a two-day event.
To help alleviate concerns, Amazon is linking its efforts to those of the Indian government. The country’s leaders are determined to help 400 million Indians get professional training in high-demand fields, like software engineering, product development, and customer support. Through its commitments, Amazon intends to play a big role in helping India achieve this vision.
India on the Global Tech Stage
Outside of Amazon’s engagement, India is betting hard on its own future. The tech scene, especially, is booming as startups raised a record amount of funding in 2019. Young businesses pulled in over $14 billion, a 37 percent increase over 2018.
The Indian government believes the country could become the global leader in smartphone and electronic component production. In 2018, the administration passed a series of incentives to promote the tech industry broadly, so long as companies operate according to certain guidelines. The goal is ambitious – $400 billion in tech production by 2025.
With a vast population of ambitious, young professionals and government backing, the 2020s could be the decade India becomes a global tech powerhouse.