JEFF BEZOS BETS BIG ON INDIA AT AMAZON SMBHAV

Dressed in a blue jacket that was a gift to him by one of the attending SMBs, Jeff Bezos took the stage and started by sharing how much he loves coming to India.


On episode two of the three-episode series telecast on CNN-News18 documenting the excitement at Amazon Smbhav gave us Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, discussing successes, failures, and the future.

The booming eCommerce sector in India is drawing attention across the world, with even the richest man on the planet betting big on India. Jeff Bezos announced that his company would invest an incremental $1 billion towards digitising Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs). He said, “We’ll try to use Amazon’s size, scope, and scale to export $10 billion worth of Make In India goods by 2025.” Jeff Bezos was, of course, one of the main highlights at Amazon Smbhav, a mega-summit where more than 3600 SMB owners got to interact with peers, subject matter and industry experts, policymakers, and thought leaders. On the second episode of the series on CNN-News18, Jeff Bezos sat down for a freewheeling chat with Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head of Amazon India.

Dressed in a blue jacket that was a gift to him by one of the attending SMBs, Jeff Bezos took the stage and started by sharing how much he loves coming to India. He said, “Everytime I come here, I feel very alive. Yesterday, I had a chance to fly kites with a bunch of kids. That’s a good day!”

Speaking of Amazon’s early days, he said, “It's hard to remember, but 25 years ago, Amazon was a tiny little company. And you know, not only was I driving the packages to the post office myself, but I was wrapping them and, and preparing them and, you know, doing all the things that small entrepreneurs do.” Answering Amit’s question on why Amazon is the best place to experiment and fail at, Bezos said, “See if you know in advance that something is going to work, then it is not an experiment. So, you want to be doing many experiments per unit time, as many experiments per day, per week, per month, per year as you can because that's how you get innovation. Innovation is all about maximizing the rate of experimentation. And so you have to organize to be able to experiment and you have to have a culture that supports failure. Amit and I together, we've been working together for two decades and I have failed together so many times and that is that is, it's another way of learning.”

Bezos also spoke at length about his passion for space travel and his work with Blue Origin. He explained, “We have to take care of this planet, and if we want to continue to grow as a civilization, we need a dynamic, entrepreneurial civilization with space entrepreneurs that will use the resources in our solar system. Blue origin wants to reduce the cost of access to space by a large magnitude. And we need reusable rockets to do that.”

Bezos also reaffirmed Amazon’s pledge towards sustainability. He said, “Amazon is going to be 100% sustainable in electricity by 2030. Amazon India will eliminate all plastic packaging by June 2020. Our partners are also helping us reach our goals, so it has a multiplier effect.”

He signed off with a prediction that was met by thunderous applause. He said, “I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century. Everywhere I go, I meet people who are seeking self-improvement. This country has something special.”

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