Shortly after announcing a $1 billion investment plan in India, Seattle headquartered Amazon on Friday said that it plans to increase its workforce nearly 1.5 times by employing over one crore personnel over the next six years.
On Wednesday, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s plans to invest $1 billion to on-board one crore traders and MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) on its ecommerce marketplace Amazon Seller Services. Currently, there are 5.5 lakh traders registered on the platform.
Unimpressed with the investment plans, union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said that Amazon was not doing India a favour by making such investments, since such entities are bound to report huge losses if they are engaged in predatory pricing, several media reports said. Goyal did not give an audience to Bezos during his visit.
Bezos’ visit to India coincides with the antitrust probe Amazon is facing, along with its rival Walmart-owned ecommerce major Flipkart. On a complaint filed by traders bodies, antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India recently initiated an inquiry into the two ecommerce companies for allegedly using predatory pricing tactics.
Jobs across verticals
Amazon plans to hire employees across verticals, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics and manufacturing. The company has provided employment to 7,00,000 personnel in India over the past six years.
“We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years. We have seen huge contributions from our employees and extraordinary creativity from the small businesses we’ve partnered with,” Bezos said in a statement.
Notably, Amazon will fill roles in software development engineering and cloud computing for its upcoming campus in Hyderabad. Spread over 9.5 acres, the establishment is Amazon’s only fully-owned campus outside the US, in terms of employees and space.
To support its ecommerce platform, Amazon will hire in logistics, engineering and facilities management, packaging and customer fulfillment verticals. The company will also expand its existing programmes for digitising MSMEs and local kirana stores.
Amazon plans to increase its skill-building initiatives through AWS (Amazon Web Services) infrastructure, including Amazon Seller training modules, the recently-launched artificial intelligence and machine learning certificate programmes, and AWS Educate's cloud computing certificate programmes.
In 2016, Bezos had announced an investment of $5.5 billion in the group’s numerous verticals such as Amazon Seller Services, digital payments platform Amazon Pay, food retailing business Amazon Retail and B2B platform Amazon Wholesale.
Just ahead of Bezos’ latest visit to India, Amazon’s two overseas units pumped in $242 million in Amazon Pay and Amazon Wholesale, with the payments platform receiving $191 million and the later getting $51 million.
Earlier this year, the government barred ecommerce companies from sourcing more than 25% of their inventory from group companies. Following this, Amazon pared stake in two group entities, Cloudtail India and Appario Retail, which supplied inventory to Amazon Wholesale, leading to decline in revenues and widening of losses for the B2B platform.