The likely merger of Amazon.com Inc.’s biggest rivals in India—Flipkart and Snapdeal–does not seem to have deterred the world’s largest online retailer from reaffirming its bullish outlook on the market.
While announcing the company’s first-quarter results, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “It’s still Day 1 for e-commerce in India, and 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.”
“We’re grateful that customers are responding — Amazon.in is the most visited and the fastest-growing marketplace in India,” he said in a statement after Amazon’s better-than-expected results sent its stock to an all-time high.
The company cited comScore and SimilarWeb data to say Amazon.in is the most visited site on both desktop and mobile in India and cited app analytics firm App Annie’s finding that the company’s mobile app is the most downloaded shopping app in the country.
Bezo’s statement is just a reiteration of his view of the Indian market and his company’s prospect in the country. In 2014 and later in 2016 Bezos had made public his optimism about the Indian market and how Amazon’s India unit exceeded expectations.
Amazon, which entered India in 2013, invested $2 billion in India operations in 2014. It committed an additional $3 billion in June last year, taking the total investment in the country to $5 billion.
Amazon is deepening its India play, going beyond e-commerce. It has ventured into the beauty services segment, launched video-streaming service Amazon Video Prime, and introduced a programme for startups, Launchpad, to market their products to customers across the country.
“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. The team has increased Prime selection by 75% since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfillment capacity for sellers by 26% already this year, announced 18 Indian Original TV series, and just last week introduced a Fire TV Stick optimized for Indian customers with integrated voice search in English and Hindi,” said Bezos.
Brian Olasavsky, chief financial officer at Amazon, echoed Bezos’ views later on a call with analysts. To a question about the company’s focus on India, he said: “We continue to be encouraged by both the response from customers and sellers. As far as level of investment is concerned, it is certainly one of our important investment areas. We see a lot of potential for the country and our business there.”
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