Mak­ing Waves

In­dia is set to take over the on­line mar­ket­place with Ama­zon In­dia.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Meena Ahmed

Shop­ping for gen­uine prod­ucts is what Ama­zon.com is all about. The of­fi­cial Ama­zon logo with an ar­row mov­ing from A to Z in­di­cates two things: first, it of­fers just about ev­ery­thing un­der the sun and sec­ond, it rep­re­sents the smile of sat­is­fac­tion once you’ve pur­chased some­thing from the site.

Be­ing a gi­ant of the on­line re­tail world, Ama­zon has lately launched its op­er­a­tions in In­dia. The motto ‘shop­ping with con­fi­dence’ is also ap­pli­ca­ble to Ama­zon.in but it does not have a re­tail pres­ence yet. Since Ama­zon In­dia is still in its ini­tial stages, it does not de­liver in­ter­na­tion­ally. How­ever, or­ders within In­dia are very well fa­cil­i­tated.

“As a com­pany, we tend to think big and en­cour­age the spirit of in­no­va­tion, in­ven­tion and own­er­ship amongst our teams. And given the ex­tremely dy­namic na­ture of our busi­nesses, we value bias for ac­tion and fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing qual­ity re­sults in a timely fash­ion,” says J. Val­liyur, Di­rec­tor Ama­zon.in.

The site of­fers a huge range of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional books for all age groups. In ad­di­tion to that, it has an ex­ten­sive range of­fered un­der cat­e­gories such as kin­dle, movies and TV, mo­biles and ac­ces­sories, cam­eras and pho­tog­ra­phy, and por­ta­ble me­dia play­ers. How­ever, at this stage, Ama­zon.in does not of­fer the com­plete range that Ama­zon.com pro­vides to its cus­tomers, for ex­am­ple, cloth­ing, shoes, jewellery, home, gar­den tools and toys.

Rahul Badami, an author by pro­fes­sion, is an Ama­zon.com cus­tomer from In­dia, who shops reg­u­larly from this e-com­merce re­tail gi­ant. “I pur­chase around three to four e-books in a month from Ama­zon.com. Ama­zon In­dia has just re­leased and I am yet to ex­pe­ri­ence their of­fer­ings,” he ex­plains.

Ama­zon is the world’s largest on­line re­tailer, and, there­fore, In­dia - which has a strong mid­dle class young pop­u­la­tion - is watch­ing the launch of its on­line mar­ket-

place with in­ter­est which is 10th in the world. The trend is in favour of In­dia as Ama­zon.in elim­i­nated the mid­dle­men - a com­mon trait in South Asia - and en­cour­ages third­party sell­ers list­ing and sell­ing their prod­ucts di­rectly to cus­tomers. “Ama­zon’s cat­a­logue of seven mil­lion lo­cal and im­ported books and 12,000 movies and tele­vi­sion shows will be a great boost for the In­dian mar­ket. Ama­zon.in has signed up 100 ven­dors across In­dia and set up a 150,000 sq. ft ful­fill­ment cen­tre in Mum­bai to ser­vice on­line or­ders. This means more jobs for In­di­ans!” Shan­tanu Guha Ray, In­dia Edi­tor for Cen­tral Euro­pean News (CEN), ex­plains.

The Ama­zon de­vel­op­ment cen­ters in In­dia are grow­ing man­i­fold be­cause of the rich tal­ent pool in In­dia. Its smooth or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­ture, op­por­tu­ni­ties to work on solv­ing com­plex tech­no­log­i­cal and busi­ness prob­lems makes Ama­zon a stim­u­lat­ing and mo­ti­vat­ing place to work at.

“It is a pri­vate en­ter­prise and its prof­its are its own. Hence we can’t fore­cast on the ben­e­fits. Your guess is as good as mine,” says Jagdeep Gupta, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Plan­ning & Op­er­a­tions, Cen­ter for Science and En­vi­ron­ment (CSE), one of the many book pub­lish­ers on Ama­zon. com from In­dia.

Ama­zon’s op­er­a­tions have just be­gun in In­dia and CSE books are also be­ing sold through them. “CSE has no spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with them and they are an­other dis­trib­u­tor for us like Flip­kart and oth­ers,” adds Gupta.

Flip­kart is an In­dian e-com­merce com­pany head­quar­tered in Ban­ga­lore. Ini­tially, in 2007, Flip­kart fo­cused on books, but later ex­panded to elec­tronic goods and some other prod­ucts. The In­dian econ­omy is grow­ing as com­pa­nies are ven­tur­ing out and buy­ing busi­nesses across the world. Hav­ing bet­ter e-com­merce will help In­di­ans ac­cess global prod­ucts, while also pro­vid­ing lo­cal prod­ucts to a global base of buy­ers in an in­stant.

In­dian con­sumers will choose from a mar­ket that is truly global. Now, In­dian con­sumers will be a part of Ama­zon’s 200 mil­lion plus cus­tomers across nine mar­ket­places glob­ally in­clud­ing Canada, Ja­pan, China and the UK.

To im­prove the qual­ity and have the best Ama­zon In­dia team, the ex­ist­ing team has started ad­ver­tis­ing on its site about form­ing an army of trav­el­ing Code Nin­jas af­ter pass­ing a Code Ninja chal­lenge. “Our tech­ni­cal teams tackle some of the tough­est and most in­ter­est­ing chal­lenges avail­able on the In­ter­net to­day. If you fancy your­self a code war­rior, think about flex­ing those ninja cod­ing skills with Ama­zon. Take the Code Ninja time chal­lenge. If your code passes the test, you will be con­tacted for a tele­phone in­ter­view. If your code is too sim­i­lar to an­other ap­pli­cant, you will both be dis­qual­i­fied, so please don’t share or post your an­swers on­line,” is what the Ama­zon site claims.

Arvind, an on­line shop­per, finds it ex­cit­ing to shop from Ama­zon.in, ap­pre­ci­at­ing its ser­vices and prod­ucts. He says he was thrilled to re­ceive his pur­chase the very next day af­ter plac­ing the or­der.

About his Kin­dle shop­ping, he writes on Ama­zon.in: “The pack­ag­ing is su­perb and just ge­nius. The box it­self has a nice amus­ing sticker which says ‘Frus­tra­tion Free Pack­ag­ing Guar­an­teed’. You just tear along one side of the box and it neatly opens up to show the prod­uct it­self. No un­nec­es­sary gim­micks. Over­all, this is a bril­liant piece of hard­ware. And cou­pled with Ama­zon’s great se­lec­tion of books and the whole con­ve­nience fac­tor, this is a must buy for any­one who loves read­ing books.”

Arvind be­ing an ar­dent buyer of Ama­zon.in would like to see news­pa­pers be­ing launched in In­dia on Kin­dle. “Can you imag­ine how con­ve­nient that would be? Wake up in the morn­ing to have your favourite pa­per ready to be read!” he adds.

The In­dian mar­ket, es­pe­cially the elec­tronic re­tail­ing mar­ket has 13 mil­lion peo­ple who spent 800 mil­lion dollars in 2012. In­dia’s In­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion stands at about eight per cent with 137 mil­lion users, of which roughly 20 mil­lion are shop­pers in­clud­ing the on­line travel agency mar­ket which was China’s on­line mar­ket in 2005. China now has 538 mil­lion In­ter­net users and 227 mil­lion on­line shop­pers. In­dia is try­ing hard to catch up. So in this case, Ama­zon is try­ing tough luck to ex­pand its reach to In­dia.

Sub­se­quently, while pre­dict­ing if Ama­zon In­dia is try­ing to prove its eco­nomic met­tle over the In­ter­net Ray pre­dicts, “It is too early to say that as this is an Ama­zon ven­ture in In­dia, not an In­dian ven­ture in the US.”

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