Indian traders unite against Amazon CEO, call him ‘Economic Terrorist’

Jeff Bezos was in India to announce the investment of $1 billion to digitize small businesses


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was greeted with more than less of a lukewarm response on his two-day visit to India to announce the investment of $1 billion to digitize small and medium businesses where he said that in the 21st century, “the most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the United States.”

However, not impressed with Amazon’s intervention, small business owners took to the streets with demonstrations being planned across 300 cities said Sumit Agarwal, National Secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).






Protests against the retail giant were held in Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Pune, Patna, Ahmednagar, Jammu, Chattisgarh and Mumbai among other places. Armed with posters that read “Jeff Bezos Go Back” and “Amazon Go Back” protesters complained that Amazon had used its reputation and global presence to undercut small business on price by offering steep discounts to large sellers, something that small business aren’t in a position to do.

The Competition Commission of India, India’s anti-trust regulator too opened an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart alleging them of predatory pricing, the exclusive launch of products like mobile phones, saying they use their market dominance to price inventory ‘below cost’ giving a trying time to business who in turn find it difficult to compete with such prices.

India is a country of neighborhood or ‘kirana’ stores from where the people of India have been shopping. These ‘mom and pop’ outlets are now increasingly seeing digitization with most of the stores accepting debit cards and online wallet payments to serve customers better. However, with a massive online presence and ease of shopping, websites like Amazon and Flipkart pull customers towards them with low prices, choice and quick delivery.

Amazon claims it has done a lot to empower retailers in India, creating over 60,000 jobs and investing around $5 billion, working with more than half a million sellers in the market place, reports BBC. During this visit, Bezos announced that Amazon would look to export goods worth $10 billion from India by 2025.

However, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal seemingly did not approve of Bezos intentions. A day after Bezos’ announcement, Goyal said, “They may have put in a billion dollars, but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then they jolly well will have to finance those billion dollars. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars.”

Trade bodies hailed Goyal’s mega snub, with members of trade organizations asking the retail giant to follow the laws or exit from the market. However, P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister took a sarcastic dig at Goyal saying that the Commerce Minister should snub Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella next to make India a $5 trillion economy.




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