How Amazon made it 'sambhav' for SMBs to shine
If you have missed Amazon Smbhav, a first-of-its-kind mega summit in New Delhi that brought micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under one roof, don’t worry. YourStory brings you the highlights from the two-day event held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
As the name suggests, the summit was designed to bring out the infinite possibilities that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) can discover when they embrace technology. The two-day summit focused on getting diverse perspectives from eminent industry experts, policymakers, solution providers, and Amazon leadership on areas that are most relevant for SMBs today, including ecommerce, logistics, payments, digitisation, global trade, web services, etc.
The event kicked off with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos committing an “incremental investment of $1 billion in digitising small and medium businesses”, to a packed audience of SMB entrepreneurs, on his visit to India. He also committed to using the global ecommerce giant’s footprint to give a fillip to India’s exports.
During the summit, Bezos also presented three Small Business Awards to local Indian businesses – Digital SMB of the Year, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and Global SMB of the Year. There were a total of 10 winners across different categories.
Overall, Amazon aims to digitise 10 million MSMEs with this investment, helping Indian businesses grow by selling online worldwide, and enabling $10 billion in cumulative exports by 2025. As part of this effort, Amazon will establish 100 Digital Haats in cities and villages throughout India.
“We’re committed to being a long-term partner of India. And actions speak louder than words. Over the next five years, Amazon will invest an incremental $1 billion to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before. This initiative will use Amazon’s global footprint to create $10 billion in India exports by 2025. Our hope is that this investment will bring millions of more people into the future prosperity of India, and at the same time, expose the world to the ‘Make in India’ products that represent India’s rich, diverse culture,” said Bezos.
Today, there are more than 550,000 sellers on the Amazon India marketplace, and more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands exporting their ‘Make in India’ products to customers worldwide on Amazon.
The ecommerce major will establish Digital Haats in 100 cities, villages, and communities to help businesses integrate into the digital economy. These haats will provide services like ecommerce onboarding, imaging and cataloguing, warehouse space, logistics, digital marketing, and compliance.
Digital Haats will be in local neighbourhoods and will be available to MSMEs irrespective of their association with Amazon. To support local neighbourhood shops and kiranas, Amazon will be expanding the Amazon Easy and ‘I Have Space’ programmes to provide additional income opportunities. Through Amazon Easy, kirana shops can set up kiosks to assist their customers in choosing the right product, placing an order on Amazon, and earning a commission on the sales. Through the ‘I Have Space’ programme, the local stores can expand their income by using their shops as a mini delivery centre and delivering products ordered on Amazon in their neighbourhood.
In addition to the Digital Haats, expansion of Amazon Easy, and ‘I Have Space’ programmes, the ecommerce major will help MSMEs across India. It also includes the ‘Saheli’ programme, which provides training and skills development to women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by selling online, and Karigar programme, to help local weavers and artisans sell their handloom and handcrafted products to a large customer base directly on Amazon.
The first-ever Amazon Smbhav summit hosted more than 3,000 businesses, traders, startups, and technology solution companies, and even celebrated the top sellers via awards.
In addition to Bezos, the summit also saw speakers including NR Narayana Murthy, Co-founder, Infosys; Kishore Biyani, Founder and CEO, Future Group; Amit Agarwal, Senior VP and Country Head, Amazon India; Piyush Pandey, Chief Creative Offer, Worldwide and Executive Chairman, India, Ogilvy; and other industry leaders from across the spectrum of digital businesses.
The summit saw power-packed sessions and thought-provoking keynotes including the ‘Top 10 Rules to Build a Successful Business’ and ‘Physical Retail & eCommerce: growing in harmony’. One of the panels chaired by YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, on the topic, ‘Changing face of women entrepreneurship in India’, started a deep conversation about celebrating diversity and women entrepreneurs.
(Edited by Suman Singh)