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Amazon Launchpad comes to India

News, 28 October 2016

BANGALORE: Amazon, the US e-commerce giant, is ramping up its presence in India by reportedly developing plans to unveil Launchpad, its global programme for start-ups, within the next couple of months.

According to Livemint, three unnamed people said to be directly aware of the company's plans have revealed that Amazon has already held talks with a number of consumer-facing start-ups and that some of them are going to take part.

These participants are reported to include lingerie line Buttercups and energy snack bar Yoga Bars, among other brands.

Launchpad, which debuted in the US last year, helps start-ups to showcase their consumer products via Amazon's online marketplace, but the plan for India will be slightly different in that Amazon will also showcase other brands that have an online presence.

"Their approach here will be two-pronged," explained one of Livemint's sources. "Firstly, they want to showcase all new B2C products from various start-ups and FMCG brands, ones that already have an online presence. Secondly, they want to showcase B2C products from brands that only have an offline presence."

In addition to showcasing their products, Amazon is also reported to be offering marketing support to brands that sign up, including no advertising fees for the first three months.

Amazon is also reported to be planning to launch subscription services for some of the FMCG brands that take part in the initiative.

"With Launchpad, Amazon will offer subscription service for FMCG brands, which will make the brands a part of the consumers' monthly basket, which is what any manufacturer wants to be," one of the executives said.

Commenting on the development, Sreedhar Prasad, a partner at KPMG India, said: "If the aim of the Launchpad programme is to get start-ups and other small and medium businesses which are in the consumer business on board, who would have otherwise got lost in the huge seller ecosystem, then it is a brilliant idea because the product these companies are bringing out is unique.

"The impact for Amazon will be incremental, but will definitely have high importance for start-ups as they are getting access to Amazon's customer base without spending much money. The mass market access should propel them."

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff