|KOLKATA: India has largely been an ‘importer’ of global best practices. It is now set to ‘export’ a couple of cool business tricks that Amazon has perfected locally. Both India-first successful initiatives the Seattle behemoth is shipping overseas are in the logistics domain. |
They involve roping in local entrepreneurs and tapping neighbourhood grocers, drugstores or other street-corner shops to ensure last-mile delivery of Amazon consignments to customers. Akhil Saxena, vice president, India customer fulfilment at Amazon, said that these two innovations are in various stages of deployment in emerging markets such as the Middle-East, Brazil and Mexico.
Another India-specific logistics initiative Easy Ship - where Amazon does the logistics for orders and sellers store the products -- has been taken to the UK and will soon debut in the US, Saxena said. Amazon’s ‘service partner’ programme involves bringing local entrepreneurs into its ecosystem, and it has 350 such partners and additions have risen 40% in the past year.
The second initiative harnessing neighbourhood stores, drugstores or streetcorner shops for storing the Amazon consignments and ensuring final delivery to the customer is called the ‘I have space program’, which has already added more than 17,500 such stores across India. Amazon had added 5,000 new stores last year, expanding the network by 40%. These two programmes are under Amazon’s own logistics arm, Amazon Transportation Services (ATS).
“These programmes have provided a reliable delivery network and additional reach. ATS has the largest share of logistics fulfilment for Amazon in India and has 150 own delivery stations for last-mile delivery, apart from these two programmes,” said Saxena.
Besides ATS, Amazon also uses India Post and other courier companies for lastmile fulfilment in India. ATS has just expanded its reach into five north-eastern states to complete its pan-India network. However, Amazon has not yet engaged with the Indian government to allow drones to deliver packages the way it has done for the Prime Air programme in the US, where deliveries using drones are made in half an hour. “There are no plans currently to roll it out in India and hence we are not engaging with the government,” Saxena said.