Amazon India has launched Exam Central, under the books department on the website where users can get access to sample question papers, solved papers and articles from academicians for entrance exams. It will also display exam info and calendar (for the next 3-4 months, updated in time), preparation books, study material, exams preparation tips and FAQs.
This will cover exams like UPSC mains, GRE, GATE, IBPS PO, CAT, GMAT, IIT-JEE, bank exams like SBI PO, BPS Clerk, management exams, engineering and medical exams, as well as international and professional exams. Some of these books will also be available in Hindi. The select featured exam sample papers, solved papers and articles for the month will be free to download.
The company said that it had witnessed a growing demand for exam preparation books for some time and that they emerged as the third most popular book category in 2015. Books on government vacancy exams were Amazon’s fastest growing category followed by English language learning books.
Amazon’s entry gives it a heads up of sorts over other ecommerce marketplaces like Flipkart and Snapdeal. There’s a chance that the company may add more features to its Exam Central in the future, since it is also a book store where test preparation and study material is available. That saves users the step of finding a book in a curriculum and then looking for it online or offline. While Amazon does not compete with other education/test preparation companies with Exam Central directly, multiple startups and established companies offer offline study, guidance from experts, getting answers checked and feedback on them etc. (Education coverage)
Breakneck growth in India: In October, we reported that the number of sellers on Amazon India grew 250% year-on-year. Amazon added 40,000 products per day in 2015 and has 30 million products on it platform. Amazon.in’s 2015 Diwali season sale was the company’s largest ever, with daily sales of approximately four times of those in 2014. In the third quarter, active customers on Amazon.in grew over 230% compared with last year. 90% of the sellers in Amazon India used the company’s warehouse and logistics services, and Amazon tripled its fulfillment capacity from 2014. It had a total of 21 fulfilment centres in 10 states across India.
Kindle to support Indian languages? In September, Amazon was expected to launch a version of the Kindle supporting Indian languages in December 2015 or January 2016, Alind Maheshwari of the Rajkamal Prakashan Group, a significant publisher of Hindi literature, said at the Publishing Next conference.
AmazonBasics: In the same month, Amazon launched AmazonBasics in India, starting with consumer electronics, with expansion plans to include other categories in the coming months. AmazonBasics is essentially Amazon acting as a seller and selling self branded products, likely not made by the company, but probably procured from small unknown manufacturers and rebranded as AmazonBasics.
Refurbished smartphones: In August, the company entered into a partnership with Surpluss to sell refurbished smartphones by Samsung and Xiaomi on its platform, with plans to add refurbished smartphones from brands like Apple, One Plus, Lava and Motorola.