Amazon Smbhav was founded in 2020 to provide an open platform for thought-provoking discussions among key stakeholders. These include policymakers, industry thought leaders, local stores, startups, and academicians, among others. This year, at Smbhav 2022, we gathered some of the finest minds to explore ideas that will drive India's Pragati in the years and decades to come.
Looking back at our journey so far
India has established itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The country is known for its innovators, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and service providers. India's pace of progress has accelerated due to technology adoption across multiple sectors - infrastructure, digital payments, retail, logistics, education, and entertainment, among others. This has been instrumental in unlocking new business models, creation of new sectors, creating livelihoods, and positively impacting the economy in general. By enabling millions of small businesses and providing hundreds of millions of customers across India, Amazon has also been able to contribute to India's economic growth story.
As we look to the journey of making India a $5 trillion economy, we will need to build on our strengths as a nation. This starts with leveraging digital technologies and creating ecosystems to enable more innovation and boost job creation.
On the road of empowering small businesses
Since its inception, Amazon India’s focus has been to support India’s socio-economic progress. The company has been focused on innovating for the diversity and richness of our country. Amazon India has created several India-first innovations tailored for small businesses. These include Seller Flex and Easy Ship, which are now being implemented in other global markets.
We strongly believe that our success depends on the success of millions of local stores, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses (SMBs) across India. And, we have been working hard to bring the benefits of digitization closer to them. We intend to bring technology to the doorstep of small businesses across big cities and small towns online. These include lakhs of neighborhood stores as well as traditional artisans and new-age entrepreneurs.
Digitizing the Indian SMB ecosystem
We have gathered over 50% of the 1.1 million sellers on Amazon.in, 85% of our new customers, and 65% of customer orders are coming from tier 2 and below geographies. More than 8 million local stores and small businesses are today using Amazon Pay, with more than 80% of them in tier 2 and below geographies. Furthermore, over 75% of customers that use Amazon Pay UPI are from tier 2 and 3 cities.
Amazon India does not serve only as an online store as our customers also come to discover new products, understand trends, share stories, contribute to causes, pay bills, book tickets, improve knowledge, get entertained, and more.
While I have talked of the journer of India in numbers, the real essence comes to us through sellers and customers. It is when they share how Amazon grew on them over time and became an indispensable part of their daily lives and livelihoods. Stories like that of Harbhajan Kaur from Chandigarh who started selling homemade barfi on Amazon.in at the age of 94 to fulfill her life-long dream to earn her own money. Or that of a customer who lives in Bengaluru, but orders everything from suitcases to kitchen appliances and even birthday gifts for his parents living in Srinagar from Amazon.in.
Delivering on our commitments
For these stories to continue to pour in, we, at the inaugural Amazon Smbhav Summit, had pledged to digitize 10 million small businesses, enable exports worth $10 billion, and create 2 million jobs by 2025. I am happy to share that we have made significant progress on these commitments. We have already digitized over 40 lakh or 4 million local stores and small businesses across the country. This is up from the 25 lakh that we had announced at Smbhav last year. In 2021, we crossed a significant milestone of 10 lakh sellers on Amazon.in. More than two lakh seventy thousand (270K) local neighborhood stores are now partnering with Amazon. They are growing their businesses by selling online, partnering for last-mile delivery, and as assisted shopping points.
We opened its first Digital Kendra in Surat last year, which has already served over four thousand entrepreneurs and small businesses from the city in their digitization journey. Our focused programs Karigar for weavers and artisans, Saheli for women entrepreneurs, and Launchpad for startups and emerging brands, continue to witness tremendous adoption.
Boosting ‘Made in India’ exports
The second pledge of Amazon India was to enable e-commerce exports worth $10 billion by 2025. We continue to see a remarkable momentum in the export of ‘Made in India’ products, through our Global Selling program. Today, we have over one lakh Indian exporters on the program who are showcasing millions of Made in India products to customers across the world. Together, they are on track to surpass $5 billion in e-commerce exports. The program took 3 years to enable the first billion dollars in exports, while the last 2 billion have come in just 17 months. Importantly, the program is helping thousands of Indian businesses create truly global brands. Driven by the momentum in new businesses joining the Global selling program and by the growing demand for Made in India products across the world, we have raised our pledge to enable $20 billion in cumulative exports by 2025.
Creating new livelihoods
Our efforts towards enabling the digitization of local stores and SMBs and boosting exports from the country are helping create tens of thousands of livelihood opportunities in the ecosystem. Amazon has already helped create more than 11 lakh 60 thousand (1.16 million) direct and indirect jobs in India, with more than one lakh thirty-five thousand (135K) new jobs added in the last year. These jobs are across industries like IT, ecommerce, logistics, manufacturing, content creation, skill development, and more.
As we celebrate the third edition of Amazon Smbhav Summit, I recall what Jeff Bezos said at the first Smbhav Summit in 2020 - “The 21st century will be India's century.” As we look ahead to India's long-term opportunities, we would like to affirm our commitment to accelerate India's Pragati while focusing on crucial thrust areas. These include inclusive economic growth, tech innovations, and infrastructure, as well as social empowerment and enablement.
Over the next two days, we have an exciting lineup of speakers, including senior policymakers, industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs and more to talk about India's Pragati in the 21st century.