The U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. sees a “huge potential in the Indian economy.” The company plans to invest up to $3 billion to expand its operations in the country. As part its long-term plans, the online retailer has opened its largest fulfillment center in Sonipat near the Indian capital city, New Delhi. The fulfillment center has a storage capacity of over 800,000 cubic feet. It will support thousands of small and medium businesses (SMEs) in India, where the digital economy is flourishing.
Last month, at a summit in Washington, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that Amazon performance is “surpassing even our most ambitious planned milestones” in India. The company wants more small businesses in India to use its platform to sell. The e-commerce giant is investing money to encourage more people to online business.
New Fulfillment Center
The new fulfillment center will allow the online retailer to offer its Fulfillment by Amazon service to several thousand more small and medium businesses in the Delhi NCR region and the state of Haryana. The company plans to open five more new fulfillment centers in India. The combined storage capacity available to sellers on Amazon.in will increase to 7.5 million cubic feet by the end of this year, Amazon said in a statement.
“We are glad to announce Amazon’s largest Fulfillment Center in India at Sonipat. It will enable thousands of small & medium businesses to save money by replacing their upfront capital expense with low variable cost and pay only for the storage space they use and the orders that we fulfill,” said Akhil Saxena, vice president of India Customer Fulfilment.
“Our Fulfilment Centers play a significant role in the development of an inclusive e-commerce economy with benefits accruing across the ecosystem. It also enables many more customers in the region to shop on Amazon.in and opt for Cash on Delivery, Guaranteed Next-Day, Same Day, Release Day, Morning delivery and Sunday delivery,” Saxena added.
According to Morgan Stanley Research, the Indian e-commerce market is estimated to be worth $119 billion by 2020.
In 2014, the online retailer announced plans to invest $2 billion in India. Last month, CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company will invest additional $3 billion in the country, bringing the company’s total investment to $5 billion. The e-commerce company employees more than 40,000 people in India.
The company also sees a space for Amazon Web Services in India. In addition to opening a Web Services Cloud Region this year, the company is also planning to build a software engineering and development center in Hyderabad.
In a letter to shareholders in April, Bezos said that Amazon.com, Inc. is working to promote e-commerce in India. He noted that the company built tools that empower entrepreneurs in 172 countries to reach customers in 189 countries last year.
Last year, the company launched a program called Amazon Chai Cart in India, deploying three-wheeled mobile carts to visit navigate in a city’s business districts, serve tea, water and lemon juice to small business owners and teach them about selling online.
In February, the online retailer launched Amazon Tatkal, which enables small businesses to get online in less than 60 minutes. This services provides a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloging services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. It is now being offered in 25 Indian cities.
Amazon.com, Inc. is also focusing on expanding its presence in Europe. Recently, the company announced plans to create 500 new jobs in Dublin, Ireland, over the next two years. This announcement is part of the company’s plans to create several thousand more new jobs in Europe in 2016.