Business

Amazon to invest $1 billion to help digitise MSMEs, traders across India

New Delhi: Amazon, the world's biggest company, on Wednesday announced plans to invest one billion dollars (about Rs 7,092 crore) to digitally enable micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and traders across India including manufacturers, resellers, local offline shops and brands. 

The company aims to digitise 10 million MSMEs with this investment, helping Indian businesses grow by selling online worldwide and enabling 10 billion dollars in cumulative exports by 2025. As part of this effort, Amazon will establish 100 digital haats in cities and villages throughout the country. 

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the plan in front of thousands of MSMEs at the inaugural Amazon SMBhav Summit in the national capital. "We are committed to being a long-term partner of India. And actions speak louder than words," said Bezos. 

"Over the next five years, Amazon will invest an incremental one billion dollars to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before. 

This initiative will use Amazon's global footprint to create 10 billion dollars in India exports by 2025," he added. "Our hope is that this investment will bring millions of more people into the future prosperity of India and at the same time expose the world to the 'Make in India' products that represent India's rich, diverse culture," said Bezos. 

There are currently more than 5.5 lakh sellers on the Amazon India marketplace and more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands are exporting their 'Make in India' products to customers worldwide on Amazon. 

Amazon will now help Indian MSMEs grow their cumulative exports to 10 billion dollars by 2025 through the Amazon Global Selling program, which enables businesses to sell on Amazon marketplaces globally. 

Amazon will establish digital haats in 100 cities, villages and communities to help businesses integrate into the digital economv The heats will provide services like e-commerce onboarding, imaging and cataloguing, warehouse space, logistics, digital marketing, and compliance. 

Digital heats will be in local neighbourhoods and available to MSMEs irrespective of their association with Amazon. To support local neighbourhood shops and kiranas, Amazon will be expanding the Amazon Easy and 'l Have Space' programmes to provide additional income opportunities. 

Through Amazon Easy, kirana shops will be able to set up kiosks to provide assistance to their customers in choosing the right product, placing an order on Amazon and earning a commission on the sales. 

Through 'l Have Space,' local stores can expand their income by using their shops as a mini delivery centre and delivering products ordered on Amazon in their neighbourhood. 

Amazon said it will continue helping MSMEs through initiatives like Saheli, a programme that provides training and skills development to women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by selling online, and Karigar, a programme to help local weavers and artisans sell their handloom and hand-crafted products to a large customer base directly on Amazon. 

The e-commerce behemoth said its mission in India is to build a sustainable environment that fosters innovation, creates job opportunities and helps Indian businesses reach customers globally. 

The micro, small and medium-size businesses selling on Amazon. in are located across the country including tier 2 and 3 cities where they are generating jobs and transforming the retail landscape of the country.

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