NEW DELHI (India) – The stage is set for one of the biggest tussle, pitying the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), and India’s business tycoon and billionaire Mukeshi Ambani (Reliance Retail). It promises to be one of the fiercest battles for the Amazon co-founder who is increasingly looking to entrench Amazon’s e-commerce ambitions in India.

Amazon-Walmart India Push

For the longest time, the focus was on the kind of competition Amazon would have to contend with from Walmart-backed Flipkart Online services. However, not anymore, as a new national e-commerce policy threatens to keep the two U.S companies disadvantaged in the race to expand their footprint and influence in India’s e-commerce landscape.

Amazon would be left disadvantage on the implementation of a draft e-commerce policy that states foreign-funded firms are not allowed to hold and operate e-commerce inventory in the country. The policy, if implemented to the letter, would make it impossible for the U.S e-commerce giant to capitalize on its strength on logistics operations.

Reliance Retail edge

The policy also calls stringent controls on subsidiaries and resellers that Amazon and other foreign companies have been using to get around the no-inventory policy. Amazon’s big loss will be Amani’s Reliance Retail Ltd (RIL) big win as the Indian company will be in a position to make good use of its warehouses and supply chain logistics.

RIL Chairman, Ambani has already made it clear his intention to grab a bigger piece of the growing e-commerce business by expanding the current physical store infrastructure. Reliance Retail already boasts of 7,500 stores in 4,400 cities, a feat that Walmart and Amazon would struggle to compete against, especially on restrictions when it comes to inventory holding in the country.

Amazon will struggle a great deal to offer the deep discounts it has offered in new markets, to fend off competition, should the new draft come into law. Reliance Retail, on the other hand, will have the edge over Amazon and Walmart by essentially leveraging its warehouses, inventory, supply chain, and nationwide reach to grab a bigger piece of the e-commerce market share.


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