Amazon makes fresh pitch to win India’s heart

New Delhi: Yet to overcome Jeff Bezo’s unhappy passage to India, Amazon will continue to improve the experience of customers and sellers in India, with ‘a lot of innovation, ideas, investment’, top company executive has said.

According to Dave Fildes, Director, Investor Relations at Amazon, the company will continue to invest meaningfully in digitising micro, small and medium businesses (MSMBs) in India.

“We’re definitely continuing to improve the experience in India for customers and sellers,” Fildes told analysts during the earnings call on Thursday.

“So, a lot of I think innovation, ideas, investment. The team over there continues to do a great job locally… around innovation building,” said Fildes.

During his India visit in mid-January, Bezos announced $1 billion investments to help digitize traders and those micro and small businesses across India and enable $10 billion in cumulative Indian exports by 2025.

“We’ll keep identifying areas over in India and tool sets features over in India that we can bring back to other regions to help benefit other sellers and the other websites more broadly,” Fildes said.

Since its arrival in India in 2013, Amazon has created over 700,000 direct and indirect jobs and announced plans to create additional one million jobs in India by 2025.

Bezos’ India visit was marred by a cold response from the Indian political establishment and traders’ ire. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not meet Bezos as there were indications that Washington Post’s editorial stance cost him the meetings with Indian government honchos.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also ticked off Bezos by saying that they are not doing India a favour by investing a billion dollars, later taking a U-turn on his statement.

On Thursday, Amazon joined the $1-trillion club with Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet after shares climbed nearly 11 per cent in extended trading as the retail giant reported $87.44 billion in sales – 21 per cent increase (Year-on-Year) — for its fourth quarter that ended on December 31, 2019.

Net income increased to $3.3 billion in the fourth quarter, or $6.47 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3 billion, or $6.04 per diluted share from fourth quarter in 2018.

The Amazon CEO’s fortune grew by $13.5 billion in just 15 minutes, reaching $129 billion.

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