Amazon launched its first Digital Kendra in Surat in July 2021. A year into its launch, this Kendra has served over 5,000 local stores and small businesses in their digitization journey. With nearly 100 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) visiting the Digital Kendra on a weekly basis from Surat and nearby areas like Navsari, Bardoli, Kim, Kosamba, Ankleshwar and Bharuch, it is playing an important role in bringing the benefits of e-commerce and digitization closer to small businesses.
Digital Kendras are physical resource centres that provide small businesses with the opportunity to avail a range of third-party services such as training on e-commerce, shipping and logistics support, cataloging assistance, digital marketing services, and GST and taxation support, to help them kick start their digital journey. By bringing Digital Kendras within small business clusters, Amazon is addressing some key challenges they face as they transition towards a digital economy, including friction points on getting started, levers for scaling their business, and understanding the domestic and global market opportunity.
I’m not well versed with technology, but the Digital Kendra ensured a smooth onboarding process. Bringing my business online has helped grow our monthly revenues and reduced procurement costs. Over the last 10 months, I have seen 1.8x growth in sales.
Vijay Nathabhai Karvad, proprietor of A.V. Stationary from Surat, has been selling toys and games in his offline store since the last 4 years. In July 2021, he visited the Digital Kendra in Surat, where he was onboarded as a seller with Amazon.in. Says Karvad about his experience, “Although I knew about Amazon, I was unsure of how to get on the online marketplace to sell my products. I’m not well versed with technology. The Digital Kendra helped me learn more about the marketplace and ensured a smooth onboarding process. The executives patiently explained all the processes in Gujarati and provided me assurance that I can reach them over the phone or visit the centre in case I face difficulties. Bringing my business online has helped tremendously by growing our monthly revenues and reducing procurement costs. Over the last 10 months, I have observed 1.8x growth in sales by reaching customers across the country.”
Nayana Vala is the owner of Nayana Vrati Enterprise, a textile business based in Gujarat. Vala was keen to grow her business through e-commerce, which led her to visit the Digital Kendra in Surat. “With the growing popularity of e-commerce, I was eager to sell online and drive growth for my business. I first came to know about Amazon’s Digital Kendra through an advertisement and was sceptical whether a visit to the Kendra would address my queries. I was pleasantly surprised with the manner in which information is shared at the Kendra — step-by-step instructions, training, and timely assistance. They helped me build my online business from scratch.”
Amazon has been bringing digitization services to small businesses through several focused programs, industry-wide engagements, and workshops. Learnings from working with state governments and industry bodies have indicated the need to take support systems closer to MSME clusters in India so that they can get started faster.
After Surat, Amazon has recently opened its second Digital Kendra in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Amazon Digital Kendras are an important step in the company's commitment to digitize 10 million small businesses, enable $20 billion in exports, and create 2 million jobs in India by 2025.