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Amazon launches India website, begins with books and movies categories

Amazon will begin operations with just two product categories for now - books and movies - and later add other selections.

BT Online Bureau | June 11, 2013 | Updated 15:37 IST, the global retail giant, on Wednesday entered the Indian e-commerce space with its online marketplace

Amazon's announcement comes nearly three months after its Vice-President Paul E Misener met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, seeking relaxation in FDI policy in retail.

Currently, India allows 100 per cent FDI only in Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce and not in retail trading online.

"E-commerce is at a very nascent stage in India and we see it as a exciting opportunity for us. There's lot of opportunity for innovation and to provide value to our customers," Amazon India Vice President and Country Manager Amit Agarwal said.

He said the company, which had entered the Indian online shopping with its price aggregator and selection website in February 2012, will continue to focus on both the ventures.

Amazon will begin operations with just two product categories for now - books and movies - and later add other selections.

India is the tenth marketplace for the company and it will offer seven million books and 12,000 movies to start with.

"We wanted to be in India. We are entering now because we are ready. We have long-term view on this...We have long-term vision for both and We will invest in both," said Agarwal.

The website will not sell products directly to customers but only provide a platform to sellers, he said, adding the company was offering an online marketplace for buyers and sellers.

Amazon will charge a referral fee, monthly subscription charges and stores fee from retailers that choose its services.

In the first year of operation, Amazon will not charge any monthly subscription and has also slashed its charges for storage.

As a launch offer, is also offering free home delivery for a limited time and cash on delivery. When the offer expires, only orders above Rs 500 will be home delivered free of charge.

Agarwal said Amazon complied with the existing India FDI policy on retail.

"Marketplace is an established and allowed operating model and several marketplaces are already operating in India," he said.

Despite being a late entrant in the e-commerce space, Agarwal feels that there is enough room for many players in many formats.

When asked about investments, Amazon officials declined to disclose the capital that the company has put in India.

"We're excited to get started in India and we will relentlessly focus on raising the bar for customer experience in India," said Greg Greeley, Vice President of International Expansion at

With inputs from PTI

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