• 18th February 2019
  • Sameer Mungekar
  • 0

I was trying to schedule a meeting with Mr Jeffrey Bezos for over a month. I wanted him to share his views about Amazon’s plans and also how he planned to take on Alibaba in China, for a feature I was writing about the global E-commerce industry. I finally got an appointment over the weekend. Sitting in his Seattle office, I wondered how it compared with the headquarters of Google, Facebook and Apple. After a brief wait, his secretary Ms Brown informed me that Mr Bezos is expecting me in his cabin. After a short chat, we started with the questions.

Me: Mr Bezos, Amazon has come a long way since its IPO in 1997. In your opinion which are the factors responsible for your tremendous success?

Bezos: We had a head start in the online retail business. The internet was growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 2400 per cent. I knew the world of the future belonged to the internet. Customers are at the centre of everything that we do, and we created platforms and processes which would make every customer a repeat customer. We increased our offerings, kept the margins low and provided the best in class service. We revolutionised the logistics and retail industry.

Me: Where do you see Amazon, five years from now and how do you see the industry growing?

Bezos: We are expanding into new geographies, increasing our product line, adding new merchants to our catalogue, deepening our presence in existing markets. Our goal is to give our customers the best customer experience at the least possible cost. We want to increase our market share in the US to seventy-five per cent by 2024. We are expanding our offline network to take on traditional competitors. We are the number one e-commerce platform in India as well. India being the fastest growing online market place in the world, we look forward to a much better top-line in the next 5 years. We acquired local online business souq.com in the middle east. We are not focusing on China as much as we would want, but we would like to play an important role there. We are also looking forward to expand our presence in Africa. The online retail industry is growing in double digits although its share in the global retail business is only ten per cent. This offers tremendous potential for growth to our company as well as our competitors.

Me: Who are your closest competitors?

Bezos: We have a presence in fifty-eight countries throughout the world. Our total customer base is 1.2 billion people. Our company’s valuation is over 800 billion dollars and last year we had consolidated revenues of 232 billion dollars. We are the number one e-commerce platform in the world. However, we face competition at the regional level in India, China, Australia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. We plan to take on regional competitors by offering innovative technology and by improving our logistics network.
Thanking Mr Bezos for his insights, I left, wondering what the world would look like without Amazon!

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