'Indianised' execution has driven our success: Amazon's Pillai at TechCircle Live

'Indianised' execution has driven our success: Amazon's Pillai at TechCircle Live
3 May, 2018

Localised execution on both customer and seller fronts has played a key role in e-commerce giant Amazon's success in the Indian market, top Amazon India executive Gopal Pillai said at the TechCircle Live Summit in Bengaluru on Thursday. 

The 2018 edition of TechCircle Live saw entrepreneurs and investors gather to discuss how technology and the digital revolution have influenced the way businesses are run in India.

“One of the main reasons we are successful in India is that the execution is totally Indianised," Pillai, general manager and director of seller services at Amazon India, said during a fireside chat with  News Corp VCCircle's chief executive officer Jaideep Mehta. 

Pillai said that Amazon had undertaken several initiatives to educate  Indian sellers about its global business, travelling to hundreds of Indian cities and small towns and meeting thousands of sellers to bring them on board. 

"We designed tailor-made strategies for India,” he said.

After launching its Indian operations in June 2013, Amazon took nearly three years to reach a seller base of 100,000. However, it managed to triple this number in just 20 months, said Pillai.

“It’s a confirmation that the flywheel is working and that our investments on seller acquisition strategies are really yielding the desired results,” he said.

Attracting customers

On the consumer front, Pillai said that Amazon had anchored its strategy around its global principles of selection, pricing and convenience while tweaking its approaches to specifically target Indian customers including developing a much lighter mobile app.

In addition, he said, Amazon had opened up its international markets to Indian users with its Global Store which was launched in October 2016. 

Customers can pay in local currency, an offering which could give Amazon an edge over rival Flipkart.

Amazon and Flipkart have frequently sparred over market share, but Pillai chose not to wade into that debate. He claimed, however, that Amazon is the most visited e-commerce site on desktop and also the most downloaded e-commerce mobile app.

He added that Amazon's Prime subscription service had helped it achieve greater scale and acquire more users.

On Amazon’s omni-channel strategy for India, Pillai said: “Our focus is on customers, we don’t differentiate between offline and online. It’s a choice the customer has.”