Amazon CEO Jeff Bezoz is reportedly urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow e-commerce firms, which are backed by foreign investors, to function as marketplaces as well as sell products directly to consumers. Presently, e-retailers can only connect third party vendors to buyers; foreign investment in forbidden in inventory-led models.
In a meeting between the Prime Minister and Bezoz in Washington DC last week, the latter reportedly discussed easing foreign direct investment norms to increase inflows into India. This ‘hybrid’ model—leading a marketplace and inventory-led businesses—is what Amazon practices in the US.
The US-based e-commerce company believes such a model will be ideal for India as it’s a large country where sourcing, stocking and delivering goods is a challenge.
There are many companies currently urging the Indian government to widen the ambit of foreign direct investment to allow more inflow in the country. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited India to expand its business, which is stalled due to the government’s mandatory 30% local sourcing.
Amazon recently announced increasing its investments in India to over $5 billion.After the company’s Indian arm recorded the fastest growth to $1 billion, in terms of gross merchandise volume (GMV), it has decided to fuel in more money to expand its services. It faces stiff competition from Flipkart and Snapdeal.
Neither did the Prime Minister’s Office nor Amazon responds to queries by The Economic Times.