Amazon: Betting Big on a Trillion Dollar Indian Market

Amazon: Betting Big on a Trillion Dollar Indian Market
Case Code: BSTR490
Case Length: 12 Pages
Period: 2013-2016
Pub Date: 2016
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Amazon
Industry: Indian Online Retail Market
Countries: India
Themes: Overseas Mergers & Acquisitions
Amazon: Betting Big on a Trillion Dollar Indian Market
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, was betting big on India by making huge investments to build infrastructure. Amazon went in for localization to suit the Indian market and the Indian consumer psyche. After three years of its operations in India, Amazon was the third largest online retailer after Flipkart and Snapdeal, which had more years of experience and understood the Indian market space well.

The competition in the Indian online retail market was fierce but it offered a trillion dollar opportunity. In their attempt to capture the market, the three large online retailers were offering deep discounts and a high quality customer experience despite making huge losses. It remained to be seen whether Amazon, which had put in place India-specific strategies and massive investments can help beat the competition, and become the largest player.

The case focuses on Amazon's strategy for India apart from giving details of the competitive Indian online retail market space. The case provides scope for discussing the challenges in the Indian online retail market, the Indian consumer's psyche, and the infrastructure bottleneck, along with giving room for a debate on whether Amazon can beat the competition to emerge as India’s largest player


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the expanse of opportunities or the current market demand existing in online businesses
  • Understand the online infrastructure
  • Apply the ways a company can localize its business operations in India and implement the same in various business situations of going global in emerging economies
  • Analyze the competitive situation, extent of rivalry and the forces that are acting to drive the competition (using Porter's five force model to map the level of competition)
  • Evaluate the market opportunities and assess customer value to build market share
  • Apply the competitive strategies used by market leaders



Localization ,Eco system, Easyship, Project Tatkal, Chai carts, Kirana shops, Flipkart, Snapdeal, COD: Cash on Delivery, GMV: gross merchandize

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