Amazon has launched a bid to become the first wholly owned foreign retailer to sell locally produced food items online in India, according to media reports.
The US-headquartered ecommerce company currently operates a marketplace in India, however, it is prohibited from selling its own items on the platform.
The Indian government recently opened its doors to 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sale of processed food products made in India, pending case-by-case approval from the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
According to Inside Retail Asia, Amazon has filed an application with DIPP to enter the sector, with the company willing to invest US$500m over the next five years to ensure the operation’s success.
“We are excited by the government’s continued efforts to encourage foreign direct investment in India for a stronger food-supply chain,” an Amazon spokesperson was quoted by Inside Retail Asia. “We have sought an approval to invest and partner with the government in achieving this vision.”
Although it has not been able to sell directly to customers, Amazon has invested heavily in developing a presence in India, where its marketplace competes against the likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal. It continues to conduct regular promotional and marketing activities, and has introduced a number of new features for its online users, according to Food Service India.