Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giant Amazon is doubling down on its presence in India by launching its Prime service in the country. The company is planning to invest up to $5 billion in the country, according to a report in India’s Economic Times. Part of that figure will be dedicated to creating local content. In December last year, Amazon hired former Sony exec Nitesh Kripalani to oversee its content strategy in the populous South Asian country.
India has already become a key part of Amazon’s international strategy. It launched there in 2013 and last year, committed itself to spending $2 billion to tap into India’s growing middle classes. Amazon is all too aware of the strong competition in India. Flipkart, the country’s largest online retailer, was founded in 2007 by two former Amazon employees.
Amazon also plans to launch its Amazon Instant Video platform later this year and is currently in negotiations with content providers. With less regulatory hurdles than China, the online landscape for India has the likes of Amazon and other western companies salivating. A recent study by Indian industry body ASSOCHAM and PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast India’s e-commerce industry growing from $17 billion to potentially $100 billion within five years. It also projected an increase of 67% in average annual spending on online purchases in 2015 alone.