Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Amazon had announced plans in January last year to invest $1 billion for digitizing 10 million Indian MSMEs over the following five years. Amazon has more than 7 lakh sellers on its marketplace in India.
Even as e-commerce marketplaces continue to be on the regulatory radar for alleged unfair treatment with their sellers and business malpractices, Amazon has shared the progress it has made in India so far since its inception in June 2013. The company on Thursday said that it has cumulatively digitised 2.5 million MSMEs in India so far. Moreover, the cumulative e-commerce exports by over 70,000 MSMEs via Amazon Global Selling stood at over $3 billion that helped churn out close to 1 million direct and indirect jobs in India till date. “As the world around us is more digital than ever with the internet and technology becoming an integral part of our lives, we see a massive opportunity to empower millions of SMBs across the country,” said Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head of Amazon India. The digitized 2.5 million MSMEs are sellers including artisans and weavers, and delivery, logistics service partners, etc.
Amazon had announced plans in January last year to invest $1 billion for digitizing 10 million Indian MSMEs over the following five years. During its inaugural Smbhav event in January 2020, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had said that “Amazon will invest an incremental $1 billion to digitise 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 10 billion dollars in India exports by 2025.” The company had also announced that it would help grow MSMEs cumulative exports to $10 billion and would create 1 million additional jobs in India between 2020 and 2025. The company said that close to 2.5 lakh new sellers have joined its marketplace Amazon.in since January last year while close to 3 lakh direct and indirect jobs have been enabled by the company over last year. Amazon has more than 7 lakh sellers on its marketplace in India.
Amazon is currently battling Flipkart, Reliance, and others to win the vast MSME and Kirana ecosystem in the country to drive their next leg of e-commerce growth. However, the traders’ association CAIT has long claimed an uneven playing field created by companies such as Amazon and Flipkart that has impacted the businesses of small businesses. In its latest communication to the government, CAIT had urged Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal last week for modification in the provisions of the 2018 Press Note 2 on FDI policy to curb alleged malpractices. The body, which represented 8 crore traders across 40,000 trade associations in India, had requested to prohibit direct or indirect equity participation or control over inventory by marketplace entities, to create a level playing field for all stakeholders, and prohibit FDI in inventory-based e-commerce and multi-brand retail in food items. However, both Amazon and Flipkart have repeatedly refuted charges by CAIT and claimed equal treatment to all its sellers and adherence to Indian laws.