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Digital Kendra for SMBs to Open Soon, Govt Announces Spotlight North East

Amazon Smbhav 2021, the company’s annual event for small and medium businesses, was opened in a virtual avatar earlier today. The event marks the company’s annual push for digitisation of India’s millions of offline small and medium enterprises, and marked key anecdotes linked to promises made at Smbhav 2020, as well as moves that look towards the future. At the keynote, Amazon India vice-president, Manish Tiwary, announced the opening of the company’s first ‘Digital Kendra’, as a move that the company hopes will expedite its push for digitisation of offline businesses.

Furthermore, Jitendra Singh, minister of state for development of North-East, announced a new venture – Spotlight North East. The latter will make use of Amazon’s scalable cloud platform and services via Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the two biggest cloud computing platforms for enterprises around the world. Spotlight North-East is a project promoted by the government of India, and is geared towards enabling digitisation of small private ventures and businesses done by fine and niche artists of North-Eastern India, which includes marginalised crafts, non-corporate tea plantations and more.

Also joining the opening session of Amazon Smbhav 2021 were Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal and to-be CEO (and erstwhile AWS chief) Andrew Jassy. During the session, Jassy highlighted the essence of cloud platforms, claiming that they offer comparative costs in comparison with older business hosting methods, the biggest advantage of which is scalability. As part of examples, Jassy highlighted major Indian startups Dream11, Paytm and Swiggy as some of the biggest global success stories of businesses hosted on AWS, alongside the likes of Pinterest, Instagram and Airbnb – among others.

The Amazon Digital Kendra announced today is the first move of its kind by a tech giant in India. The mission will setup physical offices under the Amazon India umbrella, which will work towards onboarding small and medium businesses and private ventures on to a digital platform. During the keynote, Tiwary noted that since February 2020, digitisation of businesses under the company has seen a 10x growth towards its goal of bringing 10 million offline businesses online, by 2025. He further highlighted that within one year, Amazon has also registered over 70,000 sellers who export to other countries, and are already accounting for revenues of over $3 billion.

Finally, Amazon India also claimed that it has helped create over 3 lakh direct jobs in digitised small and medium businesses over the past one year, while indirectly, it has contributed to the creation of over 1 million (or 10 lakh) jobs across India. Amazon Smbhav will run through the weekend, hosting its last session for 2021 on Sunday, April 18.

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