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Monday, November 17, 2014


NEW DELHI: E-commerce giant Amazon wants to do in India what Alibaba did in China. Amazon's India head Amit Agarwal on Tuesday met telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and urged him to allow the use of new technologies such as real-time tracking and monitoring devices on the India Post network to develop a delivery mechanism based on smart logistics.

The government has sought a detailed proposal from Amazon, to which it will respond, a person familiar with the details of the meeting told ET. Amazon wants to leverage an improved India Post network to ramp up its delivery mechanism to within 24 hours anywhere within the country.

Agarwal was accompanied for the meeting by Monique Meche, Amazon's vicepresident for international public policy. In an emailed response to ET's query, Amazon said that it is "looking for ways to deepen" its relationship with the Indian postal service which started last year. It currently uses the Indian postal services as a delivery channel, but it is looking to deepen this further, in line with what Alibaba did in China.

Alibaba was the first e-commerce company to tie-up with a government postal agency in China. Right before it hit the capital markets with a multi-billion dollar issue, Alibaba tied up with China Post to share warehouses, processing centres and delivery resources, all part of a smart logistics network providing easier and faster delivery services to online sellers. Prasad also discussed prospects for pushing trade and commerce in rural parts of the country in a big way and how e-commerce websites such as Amazon could play a big part in giving a platform to small-time retailers and entrepreneurs in the hinterland through its market place models.

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