Will Flipkart-Walmart deal shakeup the fastest growing marketplace in India?

Retail mogul Jeff Bezos tells investors that India is the most important market for Amazon, amidst Flipkart’s plans to join forces with Walmart.

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Jeff Bezos is not your average digital mogul. Not easily thwarted by early losses, he has the eye of the tiger when it comes to wiping out competition, both in business and tech.  

He lost to Alibaba and JD.com in China, but has promised to pump in more than USD 5 billion to win the Indian online retail market. In a letter to investors on Thursday, Bezos reiterated his plans to invest in the country by highlighting Amazon.in is the fastest growing marketplace in India.

He also revealed Prime now has over 100 million members, and the service added more members in India in its first year than in any other geography in Amazon’s history.

The message stands clear. Bezos wants to dominate online retail in India. According to a report by Forrester, Amazon India was behind Flipkart by only 1 percent in GMV market share last year. However, this lag widens when you picture in Flipkart's subsidiaries like Myntra and Jabong.

Related: A peek into the tech behind Amazon, Flipkart annual sales

Flipkart has raised nearly USD 6 billion in funding over the last decade. But it’s now struggling to maintain the lead in India, especially as it cannot compete with Bezos’ deep pockets.

According to reports, the company is in talks with Walmart for an acquisition deal that will give the US retail giant a stake of 51 percent or more in the company. Several reports also point out Bezos’ interest in acquiring a controlling stake in Flipkart, but there has been no comment from Amazon on this.

Meanwhile, Amazon continues to grow in India. The Amazon.in mobile shopping app was also the most downloaded shopping app in India in 2017, said Bezos. “Prime selection in India now includes more than 40 million local products from third-party sellers, and Prime Video is investing in India original video content in a big way, including two recent premiers and over a dozen new shows in production.”

Although China and the U.S are currently dominating global e-commerce spending, the value of online sales in India will hit the USD 48 billion mark by 2020, according to an estimate by Forrester.

As Bezos remains bullish on India, and Flipkart looks at strategic alliances to stay number one, the second half of 2018 is all set to witness the battle of retail giants.