Online retailer Amazon.com has launched its Kindle store for Indian customers, enabling them to access over a million books and pay for them in rupees. The books would include 70 of 100 Nielsen Bestsellers, besides works by leading Indian authors.
It has also tied up with Croma, part of Tata group's Infiniti Retail, to offer the Kindle e-reader at a price of Rs6,999, about 10 per cent more than the price in the US. According to Russ Grandinetti, vice-president, Kindle Content, customers can pay in rupees and buy books online.
The American retailer also announced the launch of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), a free platform for authors and publishers, who can make their books available for Kindle customers.
Ajit Joshi, CEO and MD, Croma, said the new Kindle e-reader will be offered at its stores in major cities and airports and also through its online platform. The reader features a six-inch electronic ink display, but needs a Wi-fi connection. It features a 2 GB of internal memory and 1.25 GB of user memory, enabling the consumer to store about 1,400 books.
Amazon has of late been expanding aggressively internationally, even as other rivals in the e-book segment – including Apple – are pushing into new markets. Barnes & Noble, another major player, has just launched its Nook in the UK, the first time it is selling the product outside the US.
Interestingly, this is the first time that Indians can pay in rupees for purchases made on Amazon.com. Until now, buyers had to pay in US dollars for products listed on Amazon's American site.
The American online retail giant set up a subsidiary, Junglee, which is basically an e-commerce search aggregation platform. Consumers cannot buy products from the site, which though directs them to other online and offline Indian sellers.