Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, during his recent visit to India, announced that the company plans to invest $1 billion to help bring 10 million traders and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) across India online.
It also announced that it will create 1 million new jobs in India by 2025 through continued investments in technology, infrastructure, and its logistics network. The jobs – created both directly and indirectly – will be across industries, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing, and are in addition to the 700,000 jobs Amazon’s investments have enabled over the last six years in India.
“We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years,” Bezos said. “We’ve seen huge contributions from our employees, extraordinary creativity from the small businesses we’ve partnered with, and great enthusiasm from the customers who shop with us—and we’re excited about what lies ahead.”
The Indian government has prioritised job creation and skilling initiatives – including the training of more than 400 million people by 2022 – in rural and urban areas. Amazon said in a statement that its job creation commitment and investment in traders and MSMEs complement these social inclusion and social mobility efforts by creating more opportunities for people in India to find employment, build skills, and expand entrepreneurship opportunities.
And through the $1 billion investment, Amazon hopes to enable $10 billion in cumulative exports by 2025.
Where the $1 billion will go
To support local neighbourhood shops and kiranas, Amazon will be expanding its ‘Amazon Easy’ and ‘I Have Space’ programs 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 commission on the sales.
Through ‘I Have Space’, local stores can expand their income by using their shops as a mini delivery center and delivering products ordered on Amazon in their neighbourhood.
Amazon will also establish Digital Haats in 100 cities, villages, and communities to help businesses integrate into the digital economy. The Digital Haats will provide services like e-commerce onboarding, imaging and cataloguing, warehouse space, logistics, digital marketing, and compliance. Digital Haats will be in local neighborhoods and available to MSMEs irrespective of their association with Amazon.
Amazon is also looking to boost growth opportunities for the more than 550,000 traders and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses through programs like Saheli, a program that provides training and skills development to women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by selling online, and Karigar, a program to help local weavers and artisans sell their handloom and hand-crafted products to a large customer base directly on Amazon.
The company will continue investing in logistics solutions like Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) to ensure any seller – of any size – can reach customers around the world.
Amazon’s investments will help create new jobs in the following key areas:
- Hiring talent to fill roles across Amazon in India, including software development engineering, cloud computing, content creation, and customer support. Since 2014, Amazon has grown its employee base more than four times, and last year inaugurated its new campus building in Hyderabad – Amazon’s first fully-owned campus outside the United States and the largest building globally in terms of employees (15,000) and space (9.5 acres).
- Supporting Amazon’s operations in India in areas like logistics, engineering and facilities management, packaging, and customer fulfilment.