Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seeks to keep controversies at bay; focusses on e-commerce giant's investment, job creation in India in letter

  • Amazon on Friday announced plans to create one million new jobs in India over the next five years as it firefights comments from Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on the firm not doing a favour to the country by making the investments.

  • Goyal, who has not yet given Bezos an audience, said e-commerce companies have to follow Indian rules in letter and spirit and not find loopholes to make a back-door entry into multi-brand retail segment

  • In a letter, Bezos reiterated the e-commerce giant's investment and commitment to job creation in India

A day after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced fresh $1 billion investment in India, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said his firm Amazon was not doing a favour to the country by the investments and questioned how the online retailing major could incur such "big" losses but for its predatory pricing.

Goyal, who has not yet given Bezos an audience, said e-commerce companies have to follow Indian rules in letter and spirit and not find loopholes to make a back-door entry into multi-brand retail segment.

However, in an open letter posted on Amazon site, Bezos has focussed instead on what the e-commerce giant has done so far in India and mentions the $1 billion investment announced yesterday.

Full text of the letter:

Dear Customers, Sellers, and Partners,

Over 550,000 small and medium businesses are using the Amazon.in marketplace to offer India's largest selection of products. Karigar and Saheli have enabled over a million artisans and women entrepreneurs to go online. More than 60,000 businesses are exporting 'Make in India' products globally, with cumulative exports exceeding US$1 billion.

Millions of Prime members across India enjoy unlimited free and fast delivery, and ad-free online streaming of blockbuster movies and TV shows, including Amazon Originals such as Mirzapur and The Family Man. Alexa can now speak in Hindi and English seamlessly, and offers more than 30,000 skills from practicing yoga to reciting Panchatantra stories.

Amazon is invested in sustainable growth and is the first company to sign the Climate Pledge — with a commitment to meet the Paris Accord ten years early. In India, we've announced that we will eliminate single-use plastic from our fulfillment network by June 2020, and we are adding 10,000 electric rickshaws to our delivery fleet.

I fall more in love with India every time I return here. The boundless energy, innovation, and grit of the Indian people always inspire me. I'm excited to share that we will invest an incremental US$1 billion to digitize micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before. As part of this initiative, we will use Amazon's global footprint to enable USW billion in exports of Indian products to the rest of the world by 2025. Our investments in India will create an additional 1 million jobs across the country by 2025.

It's still Day 1.

Jeff Bezos Founder and CEO, Amazon

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2020 15:46:50 IST