On Wednesday, the US retailer infused Rs 1,751 crore into its digital payments arm as well as Amazon Wholesale in a bid to strengthen their operations, as rivals such as PhonePe, Google Pay and Paytm get aggressive in India.
According to sources, Bezos may not make an announcement in terms of increasing stake in Future Retail as foreign direct investment rules do not permit more than 10 per cent in an Indian entity as a single firm by a foreign portfolio investor (FPI). Amazon has an indirect stake of 3.5 per cent in Future Retail, which it picked up via its acquisition of 49 per cent stake in promoter entity Future Coupons for Rs 1,500 crore.
The acquisition was made by Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, a registered FPI, and approval for the same by the Competition Commission of India was granted at the end of November after an intense scrutiny.
Traders had requested Biyani to boycott the SMBhav event, currently on in Delhi. Biyani’s keynote address will begin at 10 AM on Thursday, where he is expected to enumerate the benefits of online-offline partnerships.
In a recent interaction with Business Standard, Biyani had said online and offline retail could co-exist and work together since bricks-and-mortar stores had limited space in terms of stocking inventory versus an e-commerce platform whose ability to provide a range of products was greater.
“The corner shop will not vanish because convenience and contingency buying will always be there,” he said, adding predatory pricing and exclusive online launches were challenges faced by offline retailers.