The news of Jeff Bezos stepping down as the CEO of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) sent shockwaves across the entire business community. It is being gauged that the move will surely result in ripple effects affecting various global destinations where the e-commerce behemoth operates.
So, what’s in store for India post the change?
Well, according to industry experts not much, as Amazon had long identified India as a strategic market to expand way back in 2013.
Devangshu Dutta, Chief Executive at Third Eyesight, a consulting firm said that the switch in position will not really have a drastic impact on India as the U.S. based e-commerce giant has committed themselves to the Indian market as a ‘market for the future’.
That being said, since early 2020, there has emerged a series of problems for Amazon in terms of the ease of doing business in India which needs to be taken note of.
When Jeff Bezos visited India in the month of January 2020, he was greeted with massive planned protests and a probe by the country’s competition regulator for alleged anti-competitive behaviour. Also, it was rumoured that his request to meet the Prime Minister was turned down as well.
And now, as most are very well aware, Bezos’ transition from power comes at a time when Amazon is tangled in a host of legal battles with Kishore Biyani’s Future Group in order to prevent the latter from selling its assets to India’s largest business conglomerate Reliance Industries aka RIL.
What more? Recent reports have suggested that it might get even tougher for Amazon to operate in India as talks of further tightening the rules of Foreign Direct Investment aka FDI norms are currently in motion. Thus, it can very well mean more trouble for Amazon to conduct business in the country.
To this, Third Eyesight’s Dutta said, even though how Amazon perceives the various regulatory barriers present in India is an issue, it is not individual driven and therefore the change at the top management will not create an immediate impact of any sort which might result in the e-commerce giant to pull back from India.
The same opinion is also held by people in the know who have spoken to Economic Times about the same. Insider sources have mentioned that the move is very unlikely to have any adverse impact on India in the short term as it won’t change the fundamental view the company holds about India having the potential to become one of the world’s largest retail markets in the coming decades.
As for Bezos, he will still be managing the reigns of the company’s broader vision, albeit from a distance. Bryan Olsavsky, Chief Financial Officer at Amazon, in a call with various analysts post the company’s announcement of its December quarterly results mentioned that
Bezos will continue to be involved in many ‘one-way door issues’ or important decisions such as acquisitions, strategies and venturing into grocery as a market space.
Now, it remains to be seen what does the future hold for the current strained relationship between Indian regulations and Amazon. As of now, the Delhi High Court has ruled in favour of the e-commerce behemoth for the dispute over RIL-Future deal and blocked the sale. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.