Called the COVID-19 Supplies Store, the new marketplace will be intended for bulk buying from governments and healthcare companies like nursing homes, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and more.
Amazon Business was founded in 2017 and functions in a manner similar to Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba and IndiaMart, It’s a B2B marketplace in which businesses can sign up to buy bulk supplies from aggregated categories of suppliers.
Amazon has said its Indian operations were the most damaged by the pandemic’s effects.
India’s government shut down eCommerce for everything as the pandemic entered its first lockdown for 40 days.
Brian Oslavsky, chief financial officer, said the pandemic had rapidly shifted how Amazon Business did business in India, saying it had “cut back a lot on our offering” in a recent earnings call and was mainly focused on groceries there for now.
“So, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern except for grocery in India,” he said.
This month, the government eased the restrictions and allowed Amazon and other companies to deliver to certain zones.
Manish Tiwary, vice president of category management with Amazon India, said the store was the eCommerce titan’s “effort towards providing institutional buyers with a one-stop shop for all their needs around safety and sanitization products.”
Amazon Business expanded into Canada late last year, where it has been met by strong praise from the Royal Bank of Canada, which said the business will shoot up in revenue to above $30 billion within a few years.
The business had grown faster than other newer Amazon offerings, although it will likely still face challenges going forward as corporate officials continue to drag their feet on adapting digital business practices, instead still using paper processes.