Thursday 12 December 2019

Amazon growing grocery biz, says India head

Amazon growing grocery biz, says India headNEW DELHI: Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal said the US online retail giant is focusing on the growing grocery business, a segment where large corporations are alleged to be a threat to small storekeepers.

“Our ambition is to have the largest wallet share of customers for grocery purchases,” Agarwal said in an interview in New Delhi on Tuesday. Food and grocery is the largest portion of India’s retail market and organised retailers including e-commerce companies have headroom to expand.

He said Amazon plans to achieve its goal through a combination of formats including Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry and delivery of daily items from brick-andmortar outlets of partner retailers More, Future Group.

Currently, organised retailers account for $25 billion, or 4%, of India’s annual $580 billion food and grocery market and their share is expected to grow to $69 billion, or 7%, by 2024, according to Axis Capital.

Agarwal said the sheer online reach and e-commerce volumes help vendors to reduce margins and still make a better return on investment. He said technology helps sellers to reduce their defect rate and cost of operations.

“Some sellers (are) realising that selling a thousand bottles of a product at ?20 profit is better than selling 10 bottles at ?100 profit,” he said.

Agarwal said whenever there is disruption, confusion and uproar are bound to follow.

“I keep reminding people that this is about long term… Disruption is happening, there is going to be confusion. There are going to be questions. There is going to be inspection because the disruption is very new. So we should not be surprised by (it), we should expect it,” he said. “So I think instead of trying to look at it as a distraction, I look at it as short-term opportunities for us to educate, for us to inform, for us to sort of engage… but it doesn’t change our long-term goal.”

The long-term goal for Amazon is to turn India into the largest overseas subsidiary for the Seattle-based company. Amazon has continuously poured billions of dollars into the country it counts as one of the most promising future markets.

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