India might add as much as 20% to Amazon's progress within the subsequent 5 years, says know-how investor Gene Munster


SINGAPORE – India is currently a marginal contributor to Amazon's total revenue, but the country could become a major growth driver for the US e-commerce giant, according to tech investor Gene Munster.

Amazon scored a win on Sunday when the company received an injunction from an arbitrator in Singapore to temporarily suspend a significant deal between two major Indian retailers: Future Retail and Reliance Industries.

Future Retail, a subsidiary of Future Group, announced in August that it would sell its retail, wholesale and logistics businesses to Reliance for $ 3.38 billion, including debt, Reuters reported. According to the news agency, Amazon filed a lawsuit against Future Retail alleging the Indian retailer breached the contractual terms it had agreed in a separate contract with the US tech giant.

Reliance – owned by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani – has made strides in India's vast e-commerce sector, which is currently dominated by Flipkart owned by Amazon and Walmart.

Amazon has a growing presence in India. The e-commerce giant has invested billions in the South Asian nation.

"When you think of Amazon and its growth profile, (they) have just had nasty growth in the past six months," Munster, founder and managing partner at Loup Ventures, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Tuesday.

"But you think of a normalized growth profile, you think of the impact of India, that could be 15% to 20% of its growth over the next five years – India could be," he said.

Amazon saw "part of their opportunity – a really important growth driver – part of this window is starting to close" as a result of the Reliance Future Deal, the investor said.

Amazon has announced investments of at least $ 6 billion in India, including a $ 1 billion pledge in January to help small businesses in the country. The tech giant hopes to export $ 10 billion worth of Indian-made goods around the world by 2025.

But the company is also facing regulatory hurdles in India, including antitrust investigations.

However, the arbitrator's injunction in Singapore is not automatically enforceable in India and the order must be ratified by an Indian court, Reuters reported.

For its part, Reliance stated in a statement that it "intends to enforce its rights and promptly complete the transaction relating to the system and the agreement with Future (Group)."

Trust can potentially win the dispute over Amazon as it has more political strength in India, according to Münster. He stated that the bottom line is unlikely to affect Amazon's share price as investors fail to appreciate the opportunity in India as the market is currently contributing very little to the ecommerce company's total revenue.

"So I think the investor's convenient answer will be 'disappointment, but it's only 3% of sales'. But I think the bigger point that is really missing in e-commerce is in India to be successful for a US company to be successful they have to become partners, especially in view of some local laws, "said Munster.


Katherine Clark