From Amazon to Oscars goodie bags, Indian consumer brands are going places

From Amazon to Oscars goodie bags, Indian consumer brands are going places
  • Amazon’s accelerator programme called Global Propel Accelerator Program is looking at three winners looking to tap global markets.
  • Encouraged by demand for Indian consumer products globally, Amazon pledges to enable exports of $20 bn by 2025 from India.
  • Online retailer has partnered with Sequoia Capital India, Fireside Ventures, Accel and DSG Consumer Partners to help Indian brands in their journey.
If there’s one thing that Hollywood’s A-listers attending the Academy Awards each tear look forward to it is the luxurious Oscars hamper worth over $100,000. Along with goodies like gold-infused olive oil and crystal topped bath combs, this year’s hamper had a sustainable Rover Bottle in it, manufactured by Vadham, a direct to consumer brand born in India. It may have been a first for an Indian brand, but if Amazon India has its way many more brands will have global bragging rights in years to come.

For decades, India has been a back office to the world but not many would bet their dollar on local brands selling to the world. The world’s largest online retailer believes otherwise which is why it has pledged to enable ‘Made in India’ exports of $20 billion by 2025.

Amazon India, for the last several years, has been enabling Indian sellers to tap global markets, but a sharp shift seems to have occurred in consumer behaviour after the pandemic. The global retailer has enjoyed a front-row view of this interesting shift and launched its accelerator programme in 2020 to enable consumer brands to go global. Global Propel Accelerator Program is looking at three winners on Demo Day this week who will get equity-linked financial support and an opportunity to pitch to venture capitalists.

Just as a flatter world made it easier for companies like Infosys and TCS to service a global market, now technology platforms are helping Indian brands sell globally by eliminating much of the friction that exporters face while selling their goods overseas. Leading the charge is Amazon India’s accelerator programme, which has partnered with Sequoia Capital India, Fireside Ventures, Accel and DSG Consumer Partners this year, for the second season of its programme. Incidentally, Vadham started selling on Amazon early on and today it caters largely to the world markets.

From Amazon to Oscars goodie bags, Indian consumer brands are going places
Bhupen Wakankar, Director- Global Trade, Amazon IndiaAmazon

Says Bhupen Wakankar, director- global trade, Amazon India, “Our goal with the Propel Accelerator is to enable a support system for startups and emerging D2C brands to go global from day one. This programme targets startups and enables them to go global and we enable this through technology. With access to global markets, startups are realizing that they can address a customer base they had not even thought of. These startups are limited only by their imagination. The timing of the programme is fantastic with India’s startup ecosystem growing every year and, at Amazon, we have front row seats to see what e-commerce can do for these brands.”

The Global Propel Accelerator Programme of Amazon is not just helping brands go global but also providing consumer brands an opportunity to pitch to venture capital firms for funding growth plans.

From Amazon to Oscars goodie bags, Indian consumer brands are going places
Hariharan Premkumar, India Head for DSG Consumer PartnersAmazon

According to Hariharan Premkumar, India Head for DSG Consumer Partners, “It is the best time to be a consumer brand founder. If we feel there are brands that are solving problems, then we can help them access global markets. Amazon has played an important role in this journey and acquisition of early adopters for many of our brands.”

Consumer behaviour across geographies is converging and it is possible for brands to target a homogenous set of customers. Testing waters on Amazon’s platform helps brands validate their proposition, after which they double down on accelerating their growth. DSG has been associated with this programme since last year.

It is platforms like Amazon and their clout that is allowing entrepreneurs like Abhishek Shah dream of creating a premium athleisure brand for men and sell to customers across the world. Abhishek Shah, co-founder and CEO of Almo, says that they were born to sell globally but the Amazon mentorship programme was very valuable to its team. The bootcamp lasted eight weeks and will culminate in the Demo Day this week.

The initiative is designed to solve several problems that young companies face through dedicated support across regulations in different countries, cross-border payments and logistics. As a part of this programme, Amazon and its partners run a bootcamp over eight weeks where different partners and mentors coach the founders. The online retailer is committing $100,000 for three winners as equity support. Of 1,000 applicants, 15 startups have been short-listed for the Demo Day on September 7.

Udit Sood, co-founder, EcoRight, a company that attempts to address the problem of plastics pollution through its range of sustainable products, bags and accessories, says: “The Global Accelerator Programme of Amazon fits with what we were doing. While selling globally, we can do a lot more. The accelerator is focused on teaching brands how to sell globally and this is an advantage. A lot of sessions with Amazon leaders and VCs helped understand how one can streamline business in general and product development bandwidth.”

There are several brands in India that have very successfully tapped the global markets. Brands like Vadham, Sleepy Owl, EcoRight and Almo are already selling in other countries through Amazon.


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