Indian merchants on Amazon Global saw 224% growth in business in 2017

By Prarthana Mitra

Indian exporters availing Amazon’s Global Selling Programme (GSP) have seen a growth of 224% in their businesses over the last year, the company announced on Wednesday. To meet the heavy demand from customers abroad, more than 32,000 Indian suppliers have been shipping over 90 million products to countries like the United States, Mexico, Spain and Japan using the GSP.

Tapping the manufacturing potential

“India is in a unique position where sellers are seeing growth in their business, whether they serve domestic or international markets,” said Amazon India General Manager and Director (Selling Services) Gopal Pillai in an interview with CNBC News. Pillai also said India has immense potential for both manufacturing and exporting ethnic wear, home décor, dinnerware, women’s apparel and jewellery while launching Amazon’s Export Digest 2017.

The report highlights that many locally used products are being upcycled abroad, such as Indian bed sheets being used as beach towels and pure ghee (clarified butter) being used to enhance the flavour of coffee.

According to the report, the North zone experienced the most growth in exporters selling globally (114%), followed by the West (112 %), South (81%) and the East (74%).

Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh emerged as the states with the most international exporters. Smaller cities like Indore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Ghaziabad and Pune also had a significant number of sellers using the GSP.

Concerns and potential growth

Merchants present at the event, which was organised with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry on ‘Going Global through E-commerce Marketplace’, discussed several issues that persist in Indian operations due to bureaucratic policies. These include the customs duty charged on returned or unsold goods and limited storage periods for goods abroad.

Sanjay Bhatia, president of FICCI’s confederation of MSMEs, said global e-commerce transactions are expected to grow to $4 trillion by 2020 and FICCI will be partnering with Amazon to create awareness about this potential. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia also called for a national e-commerce policy to help sellers tap this huge opportunity.