E-commerce giant Amazon is “excited” about India market, charged by digitisation, economic growth and younger demographics, its country head Manish Tiwary has said asserting that the runway on e-commerce opportunity in the country “is huge” going forward.
In an interview with PTI, Tiwary, who is the Country Manager Consumer Business at Amazon India, spoke about “a very clear calendar” for making business here profitable, and assured that the company is on track with its 2025 targets. Amazon, which recently marked its 10-year journey in India and has a 100 million-plus customer base, still considers it ‘day zero’ here, given a massive runaway for growth in this largely under-penetrated market. The company is committed to tapping the market potential and bringing new innovations to the fore, he said.
Tiwary described India’s e-commerce market as “exciting and attractive” and went on to say that “headroom is not a challenge for this industry, at least for the next few decades” so long as the focus is on getting the ‘customer and seller basics’ right. “Worldwide for us…India continues to be a very exciting market…So worldwide Amazon is very focused and continues to be super excited with India,” he pointed out. Amazon’s optimism about India e-commerce prospects is backed by the pace of economic growth, digitisation, mobile and internet penetration, and most recently the 5G adoption.
“I can’t think of too many markets of this size which can have this kind of potential,” he said. Asked about the path to profitability and steps taken towards that goal, Tiwary said just as with any business, the company has a certain timeframe in which it expects to turn profitable on various markers. “The good news is, India business is meeting all those relevant markers on profitability as we go along,” he said, explaining that the company undertakes continuous review of its portfolio. Based on such portfolio assessment, it doubles down on ideas that work well and slowly withdraws from those that don’t.
“As far as the core profitability is concerned, we are very happy with how we are meeting the markers on that journey…let me assure you there’s a very clear calendar on how we plan to make this business profitable,” he said. A surge in online users and smartphone penetration alongside rising household incomes has fuelled a meteoric growth of India’s e-commerce sector. As per FIS’ 2023 Global Payments Report released earlier this year, India’s e-commerce market is projected to grow to USD 150 billion in 2026 from USD 83 billion in 2022.
According to a Redseer report, Indian e-commerce is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 per cent to reach USD 163 billion by 2026, nearly three times the growth of the overall retail market. “The headroom is not a challenge for this industry, at least for the next few decades,” Tiwary said. On competition in the market from Flipkart, JioMart and others, Tiwary believes that given the low e-commerce penetration, market competition will not be a point of concern. “We do not worry about competition, more players will bring (more) innovation and we are very respectful…You worry about these things when your penetration is 90 per cent, so as a company we have always focused on customers,” according to the Amazon senior executive.
That said, India is not a market where one strategy fits all nor can a global playbook be applied to India, which means companies have to address local nuances such as language, selection and other facets. “We feel confident that the first 10 years have taught us ways on how to meet customer expectations. The market is so nascent…more the innovation, more the players…I think, in the long run, it is much better for our sellers and customers,” he said.