A day after Flipkart announced that it raised $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, it's closest rival Amazon India declared that it will invest an additional $2 billion to support its 'rapid growth' in India. CIO India spoke to Amazon India's VP and Country Manager Amit Agarwal who says that the announcement has nothing to do with Flipkart's plans.
The announcement of investing $2 billion comes a day after Flipkart said that it raised US$1 billion in funds. Your comments.
These decisions don't get made in a few hours. Our intention has been clear from the very beginning. We have been aggressive about our investments since we entered India and these investments have produced results. This investment is proof of what we believed would work in India has actually worked and well beyond expectations. It's quite possible that our rapid growth and ambitions have triggered investments elsewhere.
How is Amazon planning to invest this amount in India? Is there any specific area where the company is looking at?
We don't talk about any of our future plans but essentially it will go towards growing our business and enhancing customer and seller experience.
Any specific plans that Amazon has for the India market in 2014?
We will keep adding more categories and bringing more sellers. You should see us expanding our selection and making it easy for sellers to come online and offer the best and most convenient delivery experience for customers. Mobile will be a focus area. Right now more than 35 percent of our traffic is coming from mobile and that is amazing. And we expect it to grow. Our investment in logistics and fulfillment will continue. This helps reduce costs for sellers and enables them to invest into their business further.
India is still taking baby steps in the e-commerce sector, don't you think it can pose a challenge for you?
The Indian e-commerce space is still in a very nascent stage with significant potential for innovation to improve customer experience. The growth is at an inflection point. With increasing Internet penetration, both broadband and smartphones, there is an interest and demand from mini metros and smaller towns across the country. We see a tremendous opportunity and are very excited about it.
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