Amazon to invest $1 bn in digitising Indian SMBs: Bezos

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos lines up $1 billion investment for digitising Indian SMBs

Bezos is in India this week and is expected to meet top government functionaries, business leaders and SMBs.

Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Wednesday announced plans to leverage his company's global presence to export 10-billion dollars worth Make-in-India products worldwide by 2025.

Addressing a two-day summit of small and medium enterprises (SMBhav) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, Bezos also announced plans to invest one-billion-dollars in India to bring micro, small, and medium enterprises online.

The summit brings together more than 3, 000 businesses, traders, startups, and technology solution providers.

The announcement for investments come at a time Amazon is facing protests from small traders and retailers and also battling charges of unfair trade practices at the Competition Commission of India.

“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,” Bezos said.

A statement from Amazon said that it aimed to digitize 10 million MSMEs with the billion-dollar 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 India,” it said.

Amazon.com had had already committed 5.5-billion-dollar investments in India.

Bezos began a three-day visit to India on Tuesday by offering tributes at Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.

The summit got off to a delayed start, drawing the ire of Infosys founder N R Narayanamurthy.

“I was supposed to speak for 20 minutes, but will now try and finish it in five minutes because I am not used to delays,” Narayanmurthy said.

Narayanamurthy's Catamaran Ventures-run company Prione Business Services has 76% stake in Cloudtail, Amazon.com's Indian partner. The global giant holds a 24% stake in Cloudtail.

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