Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, while on a trip to India, announced a $1bn investment in “digitising small and medium businesses” in India. Mr Bezos made the announcement on Wednesday where he also said that Amazon is aiming to export $10bn worth of Indian goods by 2025.
“I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” he said.
He added, "I'll make one more prediction for you: In this 21st century, the most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the United States, the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy."
His comments were met with applause, however thousands of small-business owners in 300 cities in India have been protesting since Mr Bezos arrived in the country earlier this week. They have accused Amazon of undercutting small businesses on price.
In addition, India also introduced a law in 2019 barring online retail giants like Amazon from entering into exclusive deals with sellers by offering products through vendors in which they have a direct financial interest in.
Online retailer Flipkart, an Indian firm owned by Walmart, and Amazon are in fierce competition over market share. According to Forrester data cited by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Flipkart had a 31.9 per cent market share in India in 2018, versus Amazon’s 31.2 per cent.
Amazon and Flipkart are both facing scrutiny through an anti-trust investigation into whether they are indeed undercutting small businesses on price.