E-commerce giant Amazon announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.
Visiting Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made this announcement amid several quarters of the Indian industry opposing his visit.
Praveen Khandelwal, the Secretary-General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), reiterated that around seven crore traders and their families have been “extremely adversely affected due to the predatory and malafide business practices of Amazon and Flipkart”.
Secretary-General, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) said that business models of e-commerce giants like Amazon do not benefit the local industry and are creating jobs of delivery boys only.
Amid this protest, the announcement by Amazon is seen as a measure to calm the growing unrest and protests going on under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
“Amazon wants to make sure that the current perception of the company among the small businesses go away, else this will further call for strict scrutiny from the regulators and protests from small traders,” Satish Meena, the Senior Forecast Analyst with Forrester, told leading online newswire.
Over the next five years, Amazon will invest $1 billion to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before, announced Bezos.
According to Meena, this is in line with what Amazon is planning to do in India for the next few years.
“They need partnerships with SMBs for products to cater not only to the Indian customers, but also to customers outside the country,” he said.
Amazon said it would establish ‘Digital Haats’ in 100 cities and villages to help businesses integrate into the digital economy.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, SMBs in India account for 45 per cent of industrial output, creating employment for 60 million Indians and roughly 1.3 million jobs annually.
“The SMBs, however, are constrained by multiple challenges, including access to skills, talent, finance, and most importantly, digital outreach,” Ram told media.
“This is where SMB-centric initiatives, such as Amazon’s commitment, are a welcome initiative to digitally support SMBs, enabling them to gain knowledge, reach their target audience, achieve scale, and while doing so, be able to measure their growth metrics,” Ram said.
In the end, added Meena, SMBs in India also need handholding in product development, capital investment and access to market.