E-commerce giant Amazon opened its largest campus in Hyderabad outside of the US facility on Wednesday. It is spread across 9.5 acres and can accommodate over 15,000 employees. This new campus is the company’s first own office building and is the single-largest building globally. It contains over 2.5 times more steel than Eiffel Tower, measured by weight. Amazon first started operations in India from Hyderabad in 2004.
The company plans to strengthen its focus on talent in India. It has 62,000-odd full-time employees, the largest tech base outside Seattle and approximately 1.55 lakh contract employees. Besides, it is also first Amazon facility to create an Alexa Pod and experiment the Inside Day 1 Alexa Skill (Beta) and the campus is built to offer Agile-based environment to maintain well-being of employees and foster inclusion.
“Over the last 15 years, we have invested significantly in India across 30 office spaces, the AWS APAC Region in Mumbai, 50 Fulfilment Centers in 13 states as well as hundreds of delivery stations and sort centres, creating nearly 200,000 jobs in India. This new Amazon campus building is a tangible commitment to that long-term thinking and our plans for India,” Amazon’s India country manager Amit Agarwal said. “The largest buildings in Seattle houses about 5,000 employees,” said John Schoettler, vice-president of Amazon’s Global Real Estate and Facilities. He said the campus was Amazon’s largest in the world but has plenty more room to grow.
Amazon started its retail operations in India in 2013 and has added several services to boost sales, including an expansion into producing Bollywood originals to boost its Prime Video loyalty programme in the movie-loving country. Prime membership in India has doubled over the past 18 months, Agarwal said.
Amazon already has three fulfilment centres in Telangana offering more than 3.2 million cubic feet of storage space to sellers, two sort centres with one lakh sq ft of processing capacity and 90 delivery stations.
On the company’s commitment to the Indian market, Agarwal said it has already announced $5 billion investment in India and another $500 million in food and retail. “We continue to invest across all over businesses,” he said without giving details on investments for Hyderabad facility.
On a query on slowdown, he said the company has not seen a slowdown in its business in India. “As far as our services go, we don’t see any slowdown. There could be multiple reasons. I think one thing to keep in mind is that e-commerce is very small and probably just 3% of total retail. When you are that small, there is so much room to grow,” he said.
Agarwal said the company had launched its Global Selling programme in India a few years ago that allows small and medium businesses in the country to sell to customers in other countries.
“What we have seen is while we have 500,000 sellers in the marketplace selling nationally, for exports 50,000 have already signed up. We have 140 million items that are available on Amazon.com in the global marketplaces. The cumulative exports so far since the launch has crossed $1 billion and in the next three years, it is expected to go to $5 billion,” he added.