Hyderabad, Aug 21 (IANS) E-commerce giant Amazon on Wednesday opened its largest campus building in the world in Hyderabad, reaffirming its long-term commitment to India.
The first owned office building of Amazon outside the United States, and its largest building globally, has come up at Nanakramguda in Gachibowli, an information technology cluster.
The campus, spread over 9.5 acres, can house more than 15,000 employees of Amazon’s over 62,000 employee-base in India.
The 1.8 million square feet office space, built on three million sq ft of construction area, is Amazon’s single largest building in the world in terms of area.
The edifice was inaugurated by Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali in the presence of Amazon Vice President and global real estate and facilities director John Schoettler and Amazon India Senior Vice President and country manager Amit Agarwal.
The company officials said hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in the campus but declined to give a figure.
Agarwal said Amazon had already announced $5 billion investment in India and another $500 million in food retail.
“Over last 15 years, we have invested significantly in India across 30 office spaces, the AWS (Amazon Wesb Services) APAC (Asia Pacific) region in Mumbai, 50 Fulfillment Centres in 13 states of India, as well as hundreds of delivery stations and sort centres, creating nearly 200,000 jobs in India,” he said.
Amazon has made investments in India in Kindle and Prime Video, which is supporting many creators, actors, producers and writers in telling their stories, and also continues to make investments in its popular voice system device Alexa, which is taking artificial intelligence (AI) to the masses.
AWS launched two availability zones in Mumbai and also announced a third one. The global customer centre was also launched.
Agarwal said Amazon.in started six years Amazon had become the largest market place in India with about 200 million items available on its platform.
It has 50 warehouses that occupy 25 million cubic feet of space, which is largest space created for e-commerce in India. It employs almost two lakh people through logistics, warehousing and delivery stations in partner associations to serve customers.
Amazon.in has 500,000 sellers using the platform for their daily livelihood. It also has 50,000 stores in 25 states acting as pickup, delivery and assistance points for customers.
Agarwal also said that Amazon.in started exports services two years and the cumulative exports last year crossed $1 billion.
“We are on course to cross $5 billion exports in next three years. If you take out petroleum and jewelry out this, it will be three per cent of India’s total mercantile exports,” he said.
Schoettler said the campus constructed in a short span of three years will have the largest employee base outside the US.
The total built-up area when spread out will span over 68 acres, equivalent approximately to 65 football fields. The campus contains over 2.5 times more steel than the Eiffel Tower, measured by weight.
He noted that the campus has interfaith prayer rooms, mother’s room, quiet rooms, showers, helipad and an all-day cafeteria. He said this was designed to facilitate inclusion and diversity.
Amazon already houses its largest India Fulfillment Centre in Hyderabad. Spread over four lakh square feet, it is located near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The company plans to expand it to 5.8 lakh sq ft next year.
Amazon now has 4 million sq ft office space at eight buildings in Hyderabad, excluding the Fulfillment Centre. It employs one-third of its India employee base in Hyderabad.
He said 4,500 employees from other buildings have already moved to the new campus. With leases of some buildings expiring, it plans to move more employees.
Amazon has 40 million sq ft office space in 300 locations across 40 countries
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT, Industry and Commerce, Government of Telangana urged Amazon to promote textile and handicraft traditions of Telangana and take them to the global marketplace by creating a separate space on their platform.
Since Amazon was pioneering latest technologies in AI and Machine Learning (ML), he also wanted the company to become anchor partner in Telangana’s Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.