E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to invest $1 billion to bring small businesses online in India in an attempt to assuage critics of the company’s development in the country.
Reuters reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is planning to invest $1 billion in small Indian businesses as the company comes under fire for its development in the country. Both Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart have faced major criticism from India’s brick-and-mortar stores who have accused the Internet giants of violating Indian Law by offering massive discounts and discriminating against small sellers by promoting a selected group of larger sellers. The companies have both denied these allegations.
This week, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an antitrust probe of the companies to investigate these allegations. Amazon plans to set up digital centers across 100 Indian cities and villages to help local businesses get online to sell their goods and plans to offer support in terms of marketing and logistics.
The $1 billion investment is expected to bring more than 10 million Indian businesses online and will enable the export of goods manufactured in India worth $10 billion by 2025. Amazon described the initiative at a company event at a New Delhi stadium stating that it was “a first-of-its-kind mega summit” that would bring together more than 3,000 small businesses.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who appeared wearing a blue-colored traditional Indian jacket, stated: “The dynamism, the energy … the growth. This country has something special,” which was met with cheers from the audience. India’s e-commerce market revenues are expected to reach $120 billion in 2020, having grown 51% annually from 2017 to 2020 according to a study by the CCI. Amazon’s $1 billion investment will add to the company’s $5.5 billion of investments in India announced by the company since 2014.