Amazon offers India’s small businesses $1b to bring them online

Jeff Bezos. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos said his company will invest $1 billion to bring small and medium-sized businesses online in India and expects to export $10 billion worth of India-made goods by 2025.

Bezos’ visit comes amid strident criticism from small business owners who accuse the company and Walmart’s Flipkart of unfair business practices. The companies deny the allegations.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has also just launched a probe into Amazon and Flipkart.

On Wednesday, Bezos spoke at a company event at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium that it has described as “a first-of-its-kind mega summit” to bring together more than 3,000 small businesses.

Amazon will also use its “size, scope and scale” to export $10 billion worth of locally made Indian goods, said Bezos as he praised the country.

“The dynamism, the energy … the growth. This country has something special and it’s a democracy.”

Bezos’ schedule has been kept tightly under wraps but sources have told Reuters he has sought a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government officials.

India’s business owners allege Amazon is driving them out of business by offering sharply discounted products and favoring select big sellers on its platform. The company has maintained it provides opportunities to more than 550,000 sellers to use its platform and grow their business in India.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a group representing roughly 70 million brick-and-mortar retailers, has said it will protest across 300 cities during Bezos’ visit.

There were two small protests, one in New Delhi and another in Odisha, on Wednesday.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.