Even amid raging controversies and allegations, e-commerce major Amazon is bullish on the Indian market, and is ”absolutely” compliant with laws and regulations in the country, where it has outlined firm commitments around job creation, exports and MSME digitisation, according to a top executive.
Manish Tiwary, Country Manager – India Consumer Business at Amazon India told PTI that the company is ”not impatient” as it does not have to ”prove anything in the next six months on how we are bigger or better”, and is, in fact, working steadily on its stated goal of transforming the way India buys and sells in a sustainable manner, to create a positive impact in the country.
Earlier this week, in a major setback to Amazon, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) rejected the US e-commerce giant’s appeal against an antitrust suspension of its investment deal with Future Group, saying the retailer had not made full disclosures at the time of seeking approval.
NCLAT also upheld a Rs 200 crore penalty imposed on Amazon by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and asked the e-commerce major to deposit the same in 45 days. It supported the CCI findings that Amazon did not make full disclosures regarding the deal with Future Retail subsidiary — Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL).
Amazon is also fighting a bitter legal battle with Kishore Biyani’s Future Group.
Tiwary declined to comment on NCLAT order, or disclose the next course of action for Amazon.
”…it is something which has just come out. So the right people are looking at the order. I haven’t been able to spend time on it. So I don’t have any comment at this stage,” Tiwary said.
Amazon India has grown from 100-odd sellers and one warehouse in the country, at the beginning of its journey nine years ago, to a level where it has about 11 lakh sellers, 23 crore-plus products being sold, and 60 warehouses (fulfillment centres).
”So every sign should give you the confidence that Amazon continues to be very, very bullish on the Indian market and the prospects. We are not impatient. We don’t have to prove anything in the next six months of how we are bigger or better, because nine years back we had told ourselves we want to change the way India buys and sells in a sustainable manner to create a positive impact in the country,” the Amazon senior executive said.
The investments made by Amazon across the ecosystem, be it Prime Video, AWS, shopping or payment, reflects company’s optimism about the Indian market.
”I would re-emphasize, we are as bullish as we were nine years back…actually we’ve been in the country in terms of providing technology support for more than 20 years. So we continue to be very bullish. All you have to do is look at the investments across the ecosystem,” Tiwary asserted.
In May this year, Amazon India announced that it has cumulatively created more than 11.6 lakh direct and indirect jobs, enabled nearly USD 5 billion in cumulative exports, and digitised over 40 lakh MSMEs in India.
In January 2020, the company had pledged to digitise 1 crore MSMEs, enable USD 10 billion in cumulative exports and create 20 lakh jobs in India by 2025.
Amazon had said it is well on track to fulfil these pledges, while in fact doubling its export pledge from India, to now enable USD 20 billion in cumulative exports from the country by 2025.
”If you look at our pledges, which are anchored around digitization, exports and employment, many things which are very high on the government agenda….I stay focused on serving the customers, serving the sellers, and making sure we make progress on the three pledges on digitisation, job employment, and exports…all of it to be achieved by 2025 so that is where our focus is,” he said.
Asked if the company is in compliance with all the laws and regulations in India, Tiwary emphasised ”absolutely and far beyond”.
”Without any iota of hesitation or doubt, the…people who work in Amazon are very proud to work in Amazon not because we meet the letter of the law or the spirit of law, we go far beyond, be it customer service or sustainability,” he said.