In a bid to increase its market share in India’s fast-growing but competitive e-commerce space,Amazon will invest an additional $3 billion in the country.
The cash influx will take the company’s total investment in the country to more than $5 billion. Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, also revealed that India was now the company’s fastest-growing market.
Bezos made the announcement at an event in Washington DC on Tuesday, attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day state visit to the US.
“I can assure you it’s only the beginning, and as we say in Amazon, it’s only day one,” Bezossaid.
Bezos also announced the opening of a Web Services Cloud division and Amazon’s largest software engineering development centre outside the US in Hyderabad, adding that both would help create jobs.
“We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy,” Bezos added.
India’s online retail market is expected to grow from $16 billion in 2015 to $119 billion by 2020, making it an important region for international growth for Amazon. In 2014, Bezos had invested $2 billion in India in order to gain a foothold in the Indian market and catch up to local rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal.
Amazon was a late entrant in the Indian market, starting its country operations in June 2013. In comparison, Flipkart was started in 2007 and Snapdeal in 2010, giving them an early-mover advantage. However, recent reports suggest that Amazon has been catching up to them.
On the other hand, Flipkart and Snapdeal have been going through a rough patch as they both struggle to raise new funds. Several star Silicon Valley hires made by the two companies have also quit within the short span of a year. Flipkart has seen several rounds of devaluation from its investors. As a result, both Indian companies have been forced to undertake spending cuts, pull back on discounts and deferred the joining dates on new campus hires.