The investment arm of Infosys co-founder and chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy, Catamaran Ventures, is close to entering into an e-commerce joint venture with global e-tailer Amazon, media reports said.
Catamaran Ventures is a private investment venture based in Bangalore, India and London, UK
Catamaran is reported to have confirmed the planned venture with Amazon Asia, in which Catamaran will hold a 51-per cent stake as required under India's foreign direct investment rules, the reports said, citing sources.
Quoting Arjun Ramegowda Narayanswamy who heads Catamaran Ventures, the report said, "Catamaran is partnering with Amazon Asia to offer services that help offline sellers and SMBs in India to get online and to take advantage of the fast-growing online customer base in the country."
"NRN does not have a board role at any of our investments," he added.
Since India is yet to open FDI in e-commerce, the reports said, Amazon and Catamaran have come up with a structure in which their venture does not fall under the ambit of FDI restrictions.
Amazon and Catamaran are planning to form a joint venture for the back end operations. This will be a holding company in which Catamaran will have a majority 51 per cent stake. Since this will be an Indian entity, its subsidiary will also be an Indian company and will roll out the e-commerce business.
Amazon, which entered India last year, is not yet allowed to sell their products, instead it acts as a third-party marketplace operator, providing platform for others to sell, instead of selling directly.
Murthy built up Infosys into one of India's top outsourcing service companies. He stepped down as executive chairman of the company earlier this month