Known for his customer obsession and outstanding business development skills, he spearheaded the expansion of the company in India and turned Amazon into India’s most customer-centric company thus transforming the Indian e-commerce ecosystem forever. Today, Amazon India enjoys an enviable position as the market leader in e-commerce segment. In 2018, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award for professional excellence.
Mr. Amit Agarwal obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science in 1995 from IIT Kanpur and a master’s from Stanford University in 1997. He then joined the Cambridge Technology Partners in Silicon Valley only to leave it in few months for another early stage technology venture Informatica. The coding jobs could not hold his interest for too long and he decided to join Amazon as the company, by then, had already approached him a few times. “It was a phase of my life when I wanted to be in the outdoors and I wanted to hike, so I thought Seattle was a good place. So, I was like, if Amazon is going to pay me to get to Seattle, let me join the company. That’s how I landed up at Amazon,” said Mr. Agarwal in one of his interviews.
At the time he joined Amazon, February1999, the company was interested in expanding its operations. Mr. Agarwal played a pivotal role in accomplishing the company’s vision and mission. He started working as a programmer and worked in the marketplace team for five years before moving to Amazon Web Services (AWS). In 2004, he moved to India to head what was AWS’ first teams as a managing director paving way for Amazon’s entry into the Indian market. Since then, he has always remained an important part of almost every single large bet made by the retailer that spans Amazon’s core online marketplace business, AWS.
Mr. Agarwal’s technical brilliance and sharp business acumen earned him a spot in Jeff Bezos’ Shadow team making him, at the age of 33, one of the youngest members of the much-coveted team. After serving as a technical advisor for two years, he was promoted to the ranks of VP International Expansion in 2009 and expanded the company’s operations in Italy and Spain before heading to India. In 2013, he took charge as Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India and the rest is a history. The stupendous rise of the company from zero to a market leader in Indian e-commerce space within five years of the start of its operations is a case-study that every big business would like to replicate. Under his leadership, Amazon started several business verticals and launched initiatives like Chai Cart, cash-on delivery, project Udaan and now Prime Day. In 2017, the company grew 64% and at over 50% in the first quarter of 2018 in terms of the number of units shipped.
Owing to his excellent track record and relentless endeavors to expand Amazon’s business in India, the company elevated him to the position of a global senior vice president in March 2017. He continues to head the company’s operations in India as the Country Manager. Mr. Jeff Bezos has recently announced to invest a large sum of money to strengthen the company’s presence in the Indian e-commerce market.
Besides his work and professional commitments, Mr. Agarwal enjoys playing electric guitar and listening to music. He was also a vocalist with a rock band called Algo-Rhythms during his Stanford days.