India welcomed Jeff Bezos this week with a cartel probe. Add to this the fact that thousands of small retailers who normally compete with each other are gathering across the country to protest the e-commerce giant's alleged predatory practices. However, the love of Amazon founders and managing directors for one of the company's most important foreign markets remains unaffected.
At a conference on Wednesday, Bezos and Amit Agarwal, the boss of Amazon India announced that the American giant is pumping $ 1 billion to India to help digitize small and medium-sized businesses. Amazon previously invested approximately $ 5.5 billion in India.
Bezos said the company is also considering scaling locally produced products from India in line with the New Delhi Make in India program and exporting $ 10 billion to the Amazon platform by 2025.
"Over the next five years, Amazon will gradually invest $ 1 billion in digitizing micro and small businesses in cities and villages across India to reach more customers than ever before," said Bezos.
"This initiative will leverage Amazon's global footprint to generate $ 10 billion in exports to India by 2025. We hope that this investment will bring millions more people to India's future prosperity while at the same time exposing the world to "Make in India" "Products that represent India's rich, diverse culture."
Amazon opened its conference entitled Amazon SMBhav (Hindi for possible, and a piece with the word SMB) with videos of poor traders and artisans in India who have expanded their businesses after signing up on the e-commerce platform.
An Amazon manager said the company had amassed over 500,000 sellers in India and thousands of dealers in the country selling in 12 Amazon marketplaces around the world.
But only 16 km from the conference location dozens of traders have a different Amazon story to tell.
Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a trading group that represents more than 60 million traders in the country, said it is organizing protests in 300 Indian cities. A representative of the trading group said it wanted to publicize the alleged predatory prices and other anti-competitive practices by Amazon and Flipkart.
The announcement related to a two-day conference called Amazon Smbhav (Hindi for possible) to explore how the e-commerce giant can work with small and medium-sized businesses and retailers. Not far from the venue, numerous retailers are mobilizing to protest again against Amazon.
On Monday, the Indian competition commission opened a cartel investigation at Flipkart, an Amazon and Walmart company, to find out if the two e-commerce giants have exclusive agreements with smartphone providers and are granting preferential treatment to some sellers.
Bezos and Agarwal did not respond to the protests or the cartel investigation.
1.4 billion people are at stake in India, more than half a billion of whom have gone online for the first time in the last decade. According to a report by Nasscom and PwC India, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to $ 150 billion in the next three years.
A CAIT spokesman told TechCrunch earlier this week that its members' dealers were satisfied with the move by the Indian cartel officer.
Today's new round of protests is one of several that the trading group has organized in recent years. Last month, thousands of protesters raised similar concerns about Amazon and Flipkart.
"Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Flipkart are going back!" Some protesters called today. Sumit Agarwal, CAIT's National Secretary, told TechCrunch in an interview that a "sharp price drop" for products on Amazon is hampering the growth of small retailers.