Amazon, America’s largest etailer, began as an online bookstore in 1994. Two years before Jeff Bezos pored through the dictionary and picked out the world’s biggest river as his brand name, lesser known (at least as of today) Charles M Stack founded books.com. Today, Stack’s online stores (also known as Book Stacks Unlimited) will be difficult to locate — they were gobbled up by Barnes & Noble over 15 years ago.
But then these are early days of ecommerce in India, with businesses growing on the back of ready and willing investors, and profitability a mere gleam in the eye of the Indian founders. “Wellfunded global players can easily absorb millions of dollars in annual losses and this can put Indian ecommerce players in trouble,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and group CEO of Greyhound Research.
What’s helping Amazon in its surge in India is the deep pockets of the parent company — Bezos committed a $2 billion investment last year and promised to keep the tap running — as well as its focus on innovations and getting SMEs on board. “In the last one year, Amazon has upped its game,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and group CEO of Greyhound Research.
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