Amazon has doubled down on the India market in recent years, after losing the e-commerce battle in China to local rivals. The online retail giant has committed investments worth $6.5 billion in the country to date. Over the years, the company has also expanded its offerings in the country beyond e-commerce to foray into sectors like digital payments, music streaming, grocery delivery, video streaming, and education among others.
“I predict the 21st century will be the Indian century. This country has dynamism and energy and everywhere I go here we see there is an improvement in growth. This country has something special” Bezos said when he visited India in January last year.
Here a timeline of Amazon’s India journey under Jeff Bezos:
■ June 2013: Amazon goes live with its India marketplace.
■ July 2014: Jeff Bezos says Amazon will spend $2 billion to grow its e-commerce business in India.
■ February 2016: Amazon launches its two-hour grocery delivery service, Amazon Now, in India. This was later rebranded as Prime Now in May 2018 and Amazon Fresh in August 2019.
■ June 2016: Jeff Bezos says the company would invest an additional $3 billion in India, taking its total investment in the country to over $5 billion.
■ July 2016: Amazon launches its Prime membership programme in India.
■ December 2016: Amazon launches Pay Balance, its payments service in India.
■ December 2016: Amazon Prime Video makes its India debut.
■ March 2018: Amazon Prime Music is launched in India.
■ September 2018: Amazon and private equity firm Samara Capital jointly acquire Aditya Birla Group’s grocery retail chain More for Rs 4,050 crore. They invested a further Rs 275 crore in the venture in September 2020.
■ August 2019: Amazon enters into an agreement to acquire 49% stake in Future Coupons, a promoter entity of Future Retail, in August 2019 for around Rs 1,500 crore. Amazon is currently involved in an ongoing court tussle with Future Group and Reliance Industries after the latter acquired Future Group’s retail and wholesale business.
■ August 2019: Amazon opened its largest campus in the world in Hyderabad.
■ January 2020: Jeff Bezos says Amazon will invest $1 billion in digitising Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India. Amazon India also makes a commitment to induct 10,000 electric vehicles into its delivery fleet by 2025.