Jeff Bezos may bust out the billions for one of India’s largest telecom companies.
Amazon is considering a $2B stake in Bharti Airtel, in a move that continues the trend of American tech giants racing to make their mark in India.
It’s a sprint to the finish line
Everybody’s looking to get in on the ground floor, and it’s easy to see why.
Only half of India’s ~1.37Bb people have internet access. Whoever can beef up the infrastructure and tap into the remaining 50% is in for a big payday – one prediction says mobile traffic in India is projected to triple by 2025.
The hottest player in the market is Reliance Jio, the country’s top telecarrier. In 6 weeks, Jio has raised a whopping $10B in a string of deals with companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and major private equity firms. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Jio will add another $1.2B investment, from a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi.
For Amazon, India is prime real estate
Amazon’s Indian interests aren’t limited to the telecom sphere. The company has made a major effort to tap into India’s budding economy, investing $6.5B there to expand its ecommerce reach.
The pandemic underscores just how important the market is for Amazon. The company said the biggest impact on its international revenue came after the Indian government limited ecommerce to essentials only.