Amazon.com Inc. has promoted India country head Amit Agarwal,to the level of senior vice president, making him one of the few SVPs at the e-tailing giant globally,after Agarwal brought the world’s largest online retailer within touching distance of market leadership in India in just three years.
Agarwal, who will continue to remain India head for now, was earlier vice president at Amazon. Agarwal has been promoted as senior vice president of the Seattle-based company, a year after he was inducted into founder Jeff Bezos’ elite leadership team.
In 2016, Amazon India raced past Snapdeal and even beat in terms of gross sales in two months. flipkart, however, had denied this.
The American ecommerce major, which entered India in 2013, has emerged as the country’s second largest online retailer behind Flipkart market leader.
Agarwal, who shadowed Bezos for three years as his technical adviser, has spent 18 years at Amazon. He has overseen Amazon’s expansion in India, which the e-commerce firm sees as a crucial market after it lost out in China.
Agarwal will also face competition from Alibaba ,Chinese market leader, which has picked stake in Paytm’s e-commerce venture and has launched Paytm Mall, similar to T Mall that it has built to dominate China’s e-commerce market.
In an interview last year, Agarwal had said the firm “will demonstrate massive scale in 2017, ” investing heavily in technology, infrastructure and innovation.
In December, Amazon had infused fresh capital into its India unit, Amazon Seller Services, taking the firm’s total investment in the entity over the past one year to over Rs 7,000 crore ($1.07 billion). That investment came at a time when Amazon was reportedly losing Rs 600 crore a month, and was said to have spent nearly $1 billion in 2016 alone in its fight against flipkart ,the market leader.
It had also reported that Amazon has seen its seller base grow by 160% to 140,000 in 2016 and is adding 180,000 products per day. In September, it was reported that Amazon had 120,000 sellers on its platform.
Amazon.com, Inc., which entered India in 2013, invested $2 billion in India operations in 2014. In June this year, Jeff Bezos, its founder and chief executive, put in an additional $3 billion, taking the total investment in the country to $5 billion.
Agarwal is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and has a master’s in computer science from Stanford University.