In the clash of titans, Amazon India has its own 'Jedi' team

10th Oct 2018
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A team has been working behind the scenes for the last six months to make sure the ecommerce behemoth has a flying start on D-Day.

It is that time of the year again. The bugle has been sounded, the warriors are on the battlefield - Over the next five days, Indian ecommerce giants Amazon and Flipkart will go head-to-head for the festival shopper!

The sales that began on October 10, will see both companies hoping to dominate every session and in fact, every minute of each day.

A product being packed at Amazon FC

When Amazon India invited journalists to give them an insight of the 'behind the scenes' preparation it has been doing or the festival season, Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India, joked he did his shopping before the sale, and not during, as he wants a few more items to be available to customers.

Subtle indeed, to drive home the volume of demand seen!

Significance of Day 1

Well begun is half done, so says the old adage, but the message conveyed to Amazon employees is a bit different. A few quotes by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, are pinned on the walls of the sellers’ war-room.

One reads: “Here’s a starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, a skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision making.”

The second says: “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

This sums up the importance of Day 1 for Amazon.

A team of employees, who Gopal Pillai, general manager of seller services at Amazon India calls Jedi, has been working behind the scenes for the last six months to ensure the company will have an edge over competitors.

Increased capacity

Speaking to YourStory, Amazon India Vice President for India Customer Fulfilment Akhil Saxena, said that ahead of the festival season, the e-tailer hired around 50,000 seasonal associates at various positions to help scale up operations.

Akhil added that the fulfilment centre's capacity has been increased to 20 million cubic feet, and the number of stores under the “I Have Space” programme has been increased to 20,000 this year from 17,500 last year. Even the number of stations under “Service partner program” has increased to 700 now from 350 last year.

Under both these programmes, small stores and entrepreneurs sign up as partners for last mile delivery.

Removing barriers

Amit says he hopes Alexa will remove barriers for many customers as they can shop using voice commands if they are not really comfortable typing. The focus at Amazon now is also to get the Indian accent on its voice platform. He also said the recent launch of the Hindi version of its website is getting more customers from the Hindi belt.

Happy shopping!

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