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Amazon, conquering India

With its steady growth and 1.3 billion people, making it the second most populated country in the world, India is the next significant location for Amazon to establish itself. It would represent a market worth a trillion dollars. According to US CEO Jeff Bezos, India will be Amazon's second largest market after the US within a decade.

Amazon made $178 billion in sales in 2017 and became the second private company to exceed the astronomical threshold of $1 trillion in capitalization in 2018. In 2013, the Internet giant opened its website in India. From a team of a few Indian engineers returning from Seattle to Mumbai, the online seller now has more than 50 processing centers in the country, with a headquarters in Bangalore.

For the moment, the majority of Amazon's customers in India come from wealthy backgrounds, live in cosmopolitan cities and speak English. The real challenge lies in conquering the middle classes to which they must continuously adapt.

Amazon has created its network of couriers to reach remote areas, including using local businesses as a relay. It has opened "Easy Stores" in which advisors help with purchasing and provide computers. The company has also accepted payment on delivery for those who do not have a credit card (only 60% of the population has one). These strategies make it possible to reach the entire Indian population, 70% of whom do not have access to an Internet connection.

In addition, only 10% of the 1.3 billion Indians speak English. Consequently, Amazon launched a Hindi site (500 million speakers), which took two years to find an effective translation algorithm. It had to be revised and corrected many times to adapt to the complexity of Hindi. Being able to read in a language they are fluent in reinforces customers' confidence in the site. Amazon plans to work in other local languages such as Bengali (80 million speakers), Tamil (80 million) or Telugu (75 million) to continue to expand the Indian market.

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