Amazon changes tac, talks of creating a million jobs in India
17 January 2020
A day after Jeff Bezoz, founder and CEO of online marketplace Amazon, boasted of plans to invest $1 billion in its India business, Bezoz said the new investment will help the company create an additional 1 million jobs in the country.
Bezoz’s change of tone comes after commerce minister Piyush Goyal pointed out that Amzon is investing more money to recover losses and is not doing the country any favour.
Amazon, like other major foreign investors face criticism that their investments do little to accelerate economic activity or create employment and are solely aimed at maximising profit – a kind of jobless growth that creates wealth only for the investor.
Speaking at an event on Thursday, Goyal said investors in e-commerce space should not try and look for loopholes in the existing framework of laws that regulate business in the country. He also said that a probe into Amazon's activities has already been initiated and the company is not doing India any favours by investing $1 billion in the country.
Amazon's business practices, which came under the radar after several small traders complained about the e-commerce firm’s excessive hold on the market. Other players like Wal-Mart-owned Flipkart are also being investigated by the regulators in this regard.
"I have on more than one occasion, said this to the people of India and to all investors, that to please follow the letter of the law and the spirit of the law," Goyal said in a tweet.
Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, plans to create one million new jobs in India by 2025 through continued investments in technology, infrastructure, and logistics network.
“We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement during his high-profile visit to India on Wednesday.
“We’ve seen huge contributions from our employees, extraordinary creativity from the small businesses we’ve partnered with, and great enthusiasm from the customers who shop with us— and we’re excited about what lies ahead,” he added.
The jobs – created both directly and indirectly – will be across industries, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing, and are in addition to the seven lakh jobs Amazon’s investments have enabled over the last six years in India, the firm said in a statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, Bezos had announced plans to invest $1 billion to help bring 10 million traders and micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) across India online. The investment would also help add $10 billion to the country’s exports by 2025.
According to Amazon new job additions will be in software development engineering, cloud computing, content creation and customer support. The company has steadily grown its employee base since 2014, which has grown four-fold now. Last year, Amazon opened a new campus building in Hyderabad – its largest outside the US and the largest building globally, spread over 9.5 acres and can accommodate 15,000 employees.
New hiring will also support Amazon’s operations in areas such as logistics, engineering and facilities management, packaging, and customer fulfillment.
Job creation and skill development are priority areas for the government
The Indian government has prioritised job creation and skill initiatives – including the training of more than 400 million people by 2022 – in rural and urban areas.