E-commerce giant Amazon.com has launched its website for India with Amazon.in. It is designed to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers. The marketplace will help Amazon overcome regulatory hurdles which prevents foreign retailers from having an Indian arm directly selling products in India. According to the marketplace model, Amazon does not own any of the merchandise that is sold through the website.
Greg Greeley, VP- international expansion, Amazon and Amit Agarwal, VP and country manager, Amazon India add, in an interview to CNBC-TV18, that retailers will able to sell their wares through the website and browse through a catalogue of 7 million local and imported books and 12,000 titles from movies and TV shows to begin with.
The company is planning to expand its product footprint to cameras, mobiles and other electronics devices. On Amazon’s US website, both Amazon-owned goods and goods by third party retailers are sold.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview on CNBC-TV18
Q: What kind of corporate structure have you had to adopt in order to setup your marketplace in India? Where will the company be registered because a lot of people go through a lot of hoops because of this grey area of e-commerce, marketplace, FDI being allowed into one and not the other?
Greeley: Our long-term vision is being a customer-centric company and helping customers find just about anything they wish to buy online. So, the structure we have in India is that we have launched a marketplace that allows merchants to sell to customers and provide a vast selection at low prices and provide a predictable, reliable delivery experience. We have also launched a Fulfillment by Amazon solution that allows us to do the warehousing, storage and fulfillment for merchants that need that support.
Q: Considering the FDI regulations, are you FDI compliant? Have you sorted out all your government approvals in India? Did you need to get any kind of government approval in India at all because you have come through the marketplace route?
Greeley: The marketplace offering that we have is allowed with the current FDI regulations.
Q: There are websites offering free cash-on-delivery (COD) and promise to deliver within a day as opposed to your offer of paying Rs 39 for cash-on-delivery and delivery in almost 10 days. How do you plan to attract customers to your site from the likes of Flipkart?
Agarwal: I am a bit surprised by that. I would encourage you to go and shop. You will find a large selection on Amazon.in that’s fulfilled by Amazon. People can selection can take advantage of our expertise in scalable, fast and reliable delivery. So, a vast selection of products will be delivered between two-to-four days. They are all eligible for free shipping and cash-on-delivery at no charge. We would continue investing in Fullfilment Amazon to make it faster and more reliable for customers.
Q: You have been managing Junglee.com for a year in India and with the launch Amazon.in you will be responsible for handling two websites. Since India is a dynamic market, wouldn’t it make sense for you as the country manager to operate from India as oppose to the US? What kind of a team are you going to be putting in place? With the launch of Amazon what happens now to Junglee?
Agarwal: We have a team of great individuals who are working to build the experience that we need to serve our consumers and sellers. Both Junglee.com and Amazon.in have a long-term vision that are complementary and we would continue to invest in both of them.
Video Link for the full interview- http://www.moneycontrol.com/tv/cnbc-tv18-shows/indian-business-hour-2013-06-05.html
Source- Money Control