New Delhi: Amazon Inc. chief executive Jeff Bezos may have been given a cold shoulder by the Narendra Modi government, but he has found his way to directly talk to his Indian customers — through an open letter on his website.
Bezos posted a letter on Amazon.in Friday. He wrote, “I’m excited to share that we will invest an incremental US $ 1 billion to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before.”
This comes a day after Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said Amazon and Flipkart are “not doing a great favour” by investing billions of dollars in India.
“They (Amazon and Flipkart) may have put in billions of dollars here, but if they make a loss, then they jolly well will have to finance that billions of dollars. It’s not as if they are doing a great favour to India by investing a billion dollars here. They have been investing for years here now in warehousing and financing their loss,” he said at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi Thursday.
ThePrint has reported that Bezos, who is on a three-day visit to India from Wednesday, had sought meetings with top government officials, but the appointments were not given. This has been a rare instance of the Modi government not welcoming a big foreign investor.
‘Indians have inspired me’
In his open letter, Bezos also wrote that the “boundless” energy and “grit” of Indian people had inspired him.
“Over 5,50,000 small and medium businesses are using the Amazon.in marketplace to offer India’s largest selection of products,” he wrote.
“Karigar and Saheli have enabled over a million artisans and women entrepreneurs to go online. More than 60,000 businesses are exporting ‘Make in India’ products globally, with cumulative exports exceeding US $ 1 billion,” the letter stated.
There have been reports claiming that it has been a hard time for foreign e-markets in India owing to resistance from local traders and other lobbies.
Bezos highlighted these concerns in his letter. “…as part of this initiative, we will use Amazon’s global footprint to enable US $ 10 billion in exports of Indian products to the rest of the world by 2025. Our investments in India will create an additional 1 million jobs across the country by 2025.”
The letter also stressed the importance of sustainable growth and Amazon’s commitment towards it.
“Amazon is invested in sustainable growth and is the first company to sign the Climate Pledge with a commitment to meet the Paris Accord ten years early.”
The letter said Amazon intends to eliminate single-use plastic from its fulfilment networks in India by June this year. The e-commerce giant is also increasing its electric rickshaw fleet in India by 10,000.