Amazon.com Inc has finally got the clearance to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, as per a document accessed by news agency Reuters. It also signaled US e-commerce giant’s first foray into the country’s multi-billion-dollar sector.
There was a notice which was in circulation on Friday in which West Bengal State Beverages Corp has authorized agency to carry out online retail of liquor. Amazon is one of the companies which were eligible for registration with authorities.
Apart from this, Alibaba-backed Indian grocery venture BigBasket has also won approval to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, as per the notice.
It needs to be mentioned here that Amazon’s interest in delivering alcohol in West Bengal is indeed a bold as well as significant move to make inroads into a market that is worth $27.2 billion, as per estimates made by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
Amazon has been growing over the years and it has expanded the e-commerce operations in India and has seen great traction during the lockdown as people prefer to shop online as opposed to walking to a mall for almost everything from groceries to electronics. Also, the company has pledged $6.5 billion in investments in India, which has become one of the key growth markets.
During the COVID-19 induced lockdown, India’s top two food-delivery startups, Swiggy and Zomato, also started delivering alcohol in select cities last month. They cashed in big time on the high demand for booze as many states started to limp back from the lockdown and opened up the shops.
In India, every state has different policies when it comes to alcohol. West Bengal had invited companies to express interest in “handling electronic ordering, purchase, sale and home delivery of alcoholic liquors from licensed retail outlets” to eligible legal-age consumers in the state.