Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com, announced on Tuesday, that his company will boost its investment in India by an additional $3 billion, on top of the $2 billion investment announced in 2014, for a total of $5 billion.
Bezos made the announcement before India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the CEO Roundtable of the U.S.-India Business Council’s (USIBC) 41st Annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
“Our Amazon.in team is surpassing even our most ambitious planned milestones,” said Bezos. “We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy.
At the event Bezos was presented with the USIBC’s 2016 Global Leadership Award, along with Dilip Shanghvi, the founder and managing director of Sun Pharmaceuticals. Both were honored for their contributions and commitment to integrating India into the global economy.
Bezos also said that Amazon would open a Web Services Cloud Region in India this year, and setup its largest software engineering and development center in Hyderabad.
According to comScore, Amazon India received more than 30 million unique visitors during the Diwali holiday season last year. At the time, Bezos had claimed that Amazon India was the most visited e-commerce site in the country. Amazon’s investment comes as domestic e-commerce giants Flipkart and Snapdeal are struggling to raise new funds. Both the companies couldn’t justify their valuations to their respective investors, according to a report from Mint.
Speaking after the roundtable, John Chambers, the executive chairman of Cisco Systems, and chairman of the USIBC said, “In September 2014, USIBC member companies indicated an investment number of $41 billion that was likely to be invested by members over a two to three year time period. Today, I am happy to announce that in less than two years, about 20% of USIBC member companies have already invested $28 billion. Over the next two to three years, we see this pace accelerating, again with about 20% of our member companies reporting, indicating that USIBC members are on track to invest an additional $45 billion, which is a conservative estimate. Given Prime Minister Modi’s track record towards implementing Digital India and key economic reforms, we are optimistic that this number will be dramatically exceeded, perhaps even doubled.”
Chambers added that Modi’s approach in India – encompassing Digital India, skills, innovation and entrepreneurship – will ensure India remains the fastest growing economy over the next five years.
“Prime Minister Modi has rapidly become the model for not just the developing countries, but the entire world,” he said.
Star India, India’s leading Media and Entertainment company, and a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, also made an investment announcement at the summit, saying it will invest an additional $5 billion over the next three years.