At a time when Covid-19 caused by coronavirus pandemic has brought disruption for many such as firms, Amazon said the biggest impact on international business for the e-commerce giant has been in India.
With an aim to contain spread of COVID-19, the government initially announced a complete 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 23, which was later extended till May 3. During this period government has only allowed delivery of essential goods through e-commerce platforms, while it has allowed the opening of standalone retail shops in a bid to ease lockdown restrictions.
This restriction on the etailers has caused lakhs of losses for the sector in terms of sales.
“I think the biggest impact internationally has been in India, where of course, similar to other companies in India, we’re now only fulfilling our essential goods such as grocery. So that’s cut back a lot on our offering, and we will further expand when the Indian government announces that we’re allowed to resume operations. So we’re in a bit of a holding pattern except for grocery in India,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said in an earnings call on Thursday.
With the government allowing the opening of standalone retail shops in a bid to ease lockdown restrictions, Amazon has urged the authorities to also let it sell non-essential items so that millions of consumers at home can be benefitted.
Earlier this week, Amazon India head Amit Agarwal had tweeted marking the PMO and commerce minister Piyush Goyal, urging the government to allow etailers to resume delivery of all products.
The program is more important than ever as we jump-start livelihoods while keeping citizens safe.
— Amit Agarwal (@AmitAgarwal) April 24, 2020
Amazon India said that it is committed to serve more than 100 million Indians from the safety of their homes, reduce the number of people who need to step out, while at the same time help hundreds of thousands of small businesses jumpstart their livelihoods in these difficult times.
Company’s Indian unit has introduced a ‘partner support fund’ for small and medium business partners in logistics who have been impacted due to the lockdown.
In a statement, Amazon India said that through the one-time disbursement, the fund will support the partners in multiple ways, which includes enabling them to provide financial aid to nearly 40,000 of their staff for the month of April 2020.
Additionally, the fund will help cover some critical fixed infrastructure costs, and support liquidity and cash flow for these businesses as they resume and scale their operations post lockdown.
Amazon India has extended the Amazon Relief Fund to eligible delivery associates who are part of the Delivery Service Partner Programme, Amazon Flex programme and its trucking partners providing transportation support.