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It’s a win-win situation for Amazon through Launchpad: Kaveesh Chawla, Amazon India

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It’s a win-win situation for Amazon through Launchpad: Kaveesh Chawla, Amazon India

Amazon Launchpad, a unique initiative by Amazon, which gives visibility for selected start-ups and their products on the online e-commerce platform by providing them a distribution platform for them, is actually a win-win situation for both the platform and the start-ups says, Kaveesh Chawla, Director, Category Management, Amazon India. 

Excerpts of this conversation during their 1st year celebrations:

Tell me about the Amazon Launchpad. It’s been one year after its launch. How has its journey been so far?

This unique program helps Indian start-ups overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products. It’s been getting fantastic responses. We’re actually humbled by the response we’ve been getting. We right now have about 250 start-ups that are now part of the program. 50 of them have actually gone global with us. They are selling in many international market places. We would like to generate more awareness about the program. We would love to get in touch with the start-ups who are already registered with the government and see how we can help them grow and provide unique products to the Amazon customers.

So you play a major role in marketing the start-up then?

Normally, these start-up founders are very good at creating their products. They have innovative ideas and bring them to life well. Of course, they need validation and so on. I am not belittling that part. But the part about distribution is the harder one because in many cases there is absolutely no clue how to do it. That’s where Amazon comes in. I see Amazon as complimentary to what a government is doing or what a Kickstarter is doing or what a HAX is doing. So we help them with their marketing, sales, distribution and it’s not just their marketing strategy, we give them access to their visibility on the platform. Our account managers enable them to get access to a bunch of services on Amazon Web Services for a discounted cost. So they can access to a bunch of helpful data at a very nominal cost. We have guaranteed visibility on the Amazon website. We have events and other than events, we have direct links into Amazon Launchpad. And also, a lot of those stores are Search Engine Optimized. So people who see something about them (start-ups) on Google, that traffic also comes to the store. So help with a lot of that which is the marketing visibility. And if somebody orders, no matter where they are, in India or across the World, for those whom we’ve taken across the world, we can have the items be shipped to their doorstep. So this is a massive problem that we’ve been solving for them.

What is your marketing strategy for the Amazon Launchpad itself?

One thing is we have a dedicated placement on our website. Amazon gets millions of unique visitors every month. That’s a massive platform for them. We do events such as this. We recently partnered with the Karnataka Biotechnology Information Technology Services and we made announcements around that. There is a whole marketing calendar on Amazon and off Amazon through which we generate traffic.

Amazon is a platform which has a lot of products and services on it. Will these start-ups get lost in this cluster?

If you think about it, they all help each other. Launchpad brings a unique selection. While Launchpad is a store that we’ve created online, the same products are also listed under other categories too. Suppose it’s a sports product, then it will be listed under the sports categories as well and so on. And those categories are also incentivised to grow that selection. Because it’s a good and unique selection. Many a times, these are available only on Amazon. So these categories are incentivised to grow Launchpad. Similarly, Launchpad are incentivised to make these sales bigger. So they’re not at conflict, they work together.

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