Amazon is planning to invest billions of dollars to catapult India as the world’s largest market outside of the United States, according to news reports. The e-commerce retail company said it could invest as much as $5 billion in the country.
Amazon, which entered India in 2013, committed to investing $2 billion in its Indian operation last year with an eye on capitalizing on the country’s expanding middle class. A large portion of the middle class, according to reports, is going online at a rapid rate. Most of the funds are expected to go toward expanding the company’s network of warehouses and data centers, as well as strengthening its marketplace platform.
It hopes to compete with India-based e-commerce retail rivals like Bangalore-based Flipkart, which was founded by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon’s presence in India has already exceeded expectations when it invested the $2 billion.
A report put together by The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India forecast a 67 percent increase in average annual online spending in 2015. Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers projected India’s e-commerce industry was likely to balloon in value from some $17 billion in 2014 to $100 billion by 2019.