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The Middle East is calling Indian sellers on Amazon

The global selling programme itself is expected to generate $5 billion in sales for Amazon India, country head Amit Agarwal said last month.

, ET Bureau|
May 17, 2019, 08.00 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Amazon is opening up its exports business to enable Indian sellers on its platform to sell for the UAE and other Middle East markets, both of which have the highest Indian population outside of the country.

Categories such as jewellery, apparel, beauty and groceries are expected to significantly push sales of manufacturers and sellers out of India in the UAE, said Ronaldo Mouchawar, the founder of marketplace Souq, which Amazon acquired in 2017. “We already have a large ready customer base from Souq registered on Amazon UAE, and as part of Amazon’s expansion in the region, also set up two fulfillment centres in UAE,” Mouchawar, VP at Amazon, said in an interview with ET.

Amazon paid $580 million in cash for Souq, according to filings, Souq.com is now Amazon.ae, and sellers are getting incentives to set up professional accounts for free, according to the website.

The global selling programme itself is expected to generate $5 billion in sales for Amazon India, country head Amit Agarwal said last month. Currently, it has clocked $1 billion in sales.

“UAE will be a huge opportunity for Indian sellers and brands. There is a lot of demand-side parallel of Indian and UAE customers. Categories where India has a manufacturing strength will help these sellers seamlessly count the UAE as a 30th state,” said Gopal Pillai, Vice President, seller services, Amazon India.

About 4% of the commerce market in UAE is online. Over 2 million Indian migrants are estimated to be living in the UAE, which is over 27% of the total population of the UAE. According to the commerce department, the total exports from India to the UAE in financial year 2017 stood at $31 billion. “There is already a large amount of B2B trade happening between India and the UAE, which is concentrated with a few traders and we see huge potential for sellers from India to sell directly to customers in the UAE,” Mouchawar added.

Amazon expects international deliveries to be fulfilled in less than a week. Amazon launched its Global Selling Program in 2015, as part of its efforts to get more small- and medium-sized businesses on board and giving them access to Amazon’s worldwide customer base of 300 million active users. Amazon allows sellers from India to sell to the US, Europe, Australia and on its B2B global marketplace.

The Indian government has been actively making policies favourable for SMEs to export, including reducing the documentation, digitising the entire customs clearance process and adding more foreign post offices across India.
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