Here’s something you don’t see everyday: Jeff Bezos dressed in full Indian attire, riding around on a truck and waving a $2 billion check in his hand.
But that’s what the Amazon.com founder was doing this weekend in India, a market that his company sees huge potential for.
That was clear when Bezos announced a $2 billion investment in Amazon’s India operations this past summer. He was in Bangalore this past week to celebrate Amazon’s one-year anniversary in the country.
Bezos sat down with several news outlets to explain why he’s so bullish on India and touched on a number of different topics, from the weak Fire Phone sales to drone deliveries to his business philosophy. During each interview, Bezos spoke about how successful Amazon’s India team has been since launching about one year ago, noting how the Amazon India launch is “better and faster” than other markets.
“India is the fastest among any of our geographies to ever grow to this scale,” Bezos told The Times of India. “I know this team extremely well. I have worked with them back in the US for many years, before they came here to start Amazon India. We are just a year old and have already blown past the initial goals.”
The Amazon boss was also asked about competition from companies like Flipkart — which was founded by former Amazon.com execs and recently raised $1 billion — and Google. Unsurprisingly, Bezos said that he likes to focus on customers, not competitors.
“All companies have their annual planning processes that start with questions like ‘who are our three biggest competitors,’ ‘what strategy to adopt to defeat them,’ and so on but that is not how we operate,” Bezos told The Hindu. “I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about that.”
The 50-year-old also discussed his excitement for drone deliveries and said “we need to see progress on the regulation side.”
“We’re waiting for approvals to start the service in the U.S. as of now,” he told The Hindu.
“Well, I think you should reserve your judgment on that,” Bezos told The Hindu. “I think we have a real world-class hardware team. We’ve been in the hardware business for 10 years. Kindle has become a huge success — we’ve had seven generations of Kindle, four generations of Fire tablets, one generation of Fire TV and Fire phone. These things are super-early. Ask me in five years! (laughs).”