OpScoop Issue 2: Transforming the Face of Small Businesses

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A day in the life of an average individual in India is incomplete without a cup of chai. From looking forward to that morning cup of tea, to those chai breaks where people discuss at length about business, personal matters or even online selling; tea has become an integral part of our lives. Amazon is capitalizing on this ubiquitous habit of Indians to lure small business owners onto the platform. Initiated in June 2015, it came up with striking ‘Amazon Chai Carts’, deployed all across the Panchkula district of Haryana, wherein the small entrepreneurs or trade owners get an opportunity to enter the online business world. These chai carts offer free tea, water, and lime juice to the business owners, sellers, retailers, and SMEs in that town.

Their tagline “Chai toh hai bahana, maksad hai aapka vyapar badhana”, is in alignment with the operations of these chai carts. Every Chai cart has a few Amazon trained employees, who hold discussion with the interested local sellers on the process of e-commerce over a cup of tea, and introduce them to various seller specific services like Amazon easy ship’, and ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’, in which the sellers can store their products in Amazon’s fulfilment centres, and the Amazon people pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. They also introduce the sellers to the Amazon.in’s seller education programs, and interested sellers can register on the spot.

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At every market, the Amazon associates armed with tablets, visit all stores explaining the benefits to store owners and inviting them for a cup of chai over which they could talk about how their business can grow online. These chai carts have hitherto travelled 15,280 km across 31 cities, served 37,200 cups of tea, and engaged with over 10,000 sellers. As the country is increasingly becoming digitally proficient, there is a growing need for the smaller companies to understand the importance of e-commerce to sustain in the marketplace. Online retailers are slowly but steadily making their way into the commerce world, and Amazon’s Chai Carts are making sure that the SMEs are by no means lagging behind !

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The scope of e-commerce is growing rapidly, and in India, there is a huge market opportunity for the unorganized sector to sell online. With a vision to create a digital world, Amazon has come up with another initiative ‘’Amazon Tatkal Programme”, a scheme that enables the SMBs to go online, and sell their products on Amazon.

Launched in Feb 2016 in New Delhi, it is a specially designed studio-on-wheels, that is traversing the entire country , engaging with thousands of entrepreneurs, artisans , manufacturers and sellers, offering them a plethora of services, including registration, imaging and catalogue services, and training mechanisms free of cost.

Their tagline “Ready for the 60 minutes challenge?” enable the SMEs experience the convenience with which their products can be sold in the marketplace in merely 60 minutes. This has led to a mutually beneficial agreement wherein the SMEs are benefitting from the increased online sales, and Amazon is profiting because of the increased partnerships. The sellers have witnessed a growth of 25 percent in their sales, and Amazon has experienced a tremendous increase of 250 percent since the last year.

Since its advent, Amazon.in has been introducing new services to meet the business requirements of sellers, and help them grow online profitably, and it is ideating to continue this until it revolutionizes our entire economy for the better

 

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