With the festive season fast approaching, and ecommerce seeing an unprecendented surge — unfortunately thanks to COVID-19, Amazon India announced on Monday a significant scaling up of its delivery network in India. The Bezos-led ecommerce giant has announced setting up 200 new (Amazon-owned, and third-party operated) delivery stations across the country. This comes as a necessary step to meet up with the festive rush, even during the COVID 19 period, as the company looks to better its reach, especially in the smaller towns and cities.
The pandemic period has seen a host of new customers turning to Amazon to meet their shopping needs, and thus, an augmentation to the e-commerce giant’s sprawling delivery network was seen as the need of the hour. Ecommerce surge has specially been driven by Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities, as consumers continue to fear contracting the virus as they begin to move out to buy basic necessities.
The company is confident that its investment in the development of its delivery system will generate revenue and create jobs for thousands of workers across the country. Moreover, a better delivery network will also facilitate the efficient delivery of packages during the oncoming festive rush.
In an interview given to PTI, Prakash Rochlani, Director of Last Mile Operations at Amazon India voiced the company’s intent in expanding its ever-spreading delivery network so as to meet the growing needs and demands of its customers from every corner of the country. Rochlani said that the 200 delivery stations, including those that are already in operation by service partners, will all work in unison to satisfy the demands of Amazon’s customers from even the remotest towns of the country, including the northeastern towns of Kolasib, Champhai, Lumding, and Mokokchung. The Amazon executive also shed significant light on the prospective jobs that this investment will create, something that aligns perfectly with the government’s vision of “skilling the youth” and “creating jobs”.
Presently, Amazon relies heavily on its third-party providers, with 1500 of its delivery stations operated by partnering organizations as compared to the 280 run by Amazon itself. This particular model allows the company to spread its operations evenly across the corporate domain without losing grip of operation proceedings.
Things have been a little different this year for the e-commerce giant, with the world being hit by a pandemic, and social distancing norms putting a significant pace cut in delivery procedures. However, Amazon has still laid significant emphasis on the yearly development of its infrastructure in terms of setting up warehouses and sorting facilities to meet up with the rising countrywide demand.
Rochlani in the interview has also laid emphasis on the importance of Amazon’s IHS (I Have Space) program that has allowed the company to partner with around 28,000 neighborhood Kirana stores across 350 cities for the smooth running of the company’s demand fulfillment motto.
The IHS initiative allows partnering Kirana store owners to deliver products to customers within a 2-4 kilometer radius of their shops, giving them an opportunity to grow their business and add extra income to their books.
In terms of overall headcount too, Amazon has done significant upscaling across domains in India. Rochlani in the interview with PTI stated that in the month of May, the company had committed itself to create around 70,000 jobs, with 50,000 jobs within the supply chain sector and 20,000 in customer support.
Earlier this month, the company also added support for new regional languages on its platform-Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, to reach new customers, another move which was seen as preparation for the festival season.
Now with expansions in its delivery system, and the festive season fast approaching, the company is all set to offer more employment opportunities to the youth of the country during one of the busiest times of the year.