Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Amazon set to launch services in India next year

World's largest online retailer, Amazon.com is set to enter India, riding on the second wave of ecommerce boom in India. Amazon is in discussions with leading Indian e-commerce players like Flipkart.com, LetsBuy.com and Exclusively.in, among others and may enter the market as early as the first quarter of next year.

Acquiring Indian players has been the dominant theme for foreign majors looking to enter Indian market with eBay acquiring Baazee.com and Groupon picking up SoSasta.com to enter the market. But sources say that Amazon is looking to set up operations on its own as its discussions with many players on acquisition front haven't seemed to work out. "Indian players see the huge potential in the e-commerce segment here and so have so far been resistant to being bought out easily," said another source. Amazon is likely to ramp up through inorganic ways later, depending on market growth and their performance relative to competition.

Hiring is currently on in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai to fill up the various positions in this team, say sources. "A team of over 200 people is being built, though all of them might not end up in the core retail arm," said another source.

The earliest indications came from the hiring of Madhu M, a senior executive at Landmark (retail chain), by Amazon to head its India operations. Madhu is an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus and is currently holding the position of SVM at Amazon. He is based out of Chennai where Amazon's Kindle development team is also based.

Amazon is also establishing a warehouse in Mumbai, a standard step before entering the e-commerce space going by what Amazon has been doing globally. Another interesting development has been the buying of 80,000 sq ft by Amazon at SP Infocity, promoted by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd, in Perungudi in Chennai. The company already has a development centre in Chennai.

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