Exports Digest by Amazon Global Selling
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Honed by heritage:

The India exports story

In the 5th edition of our Amazon Exports Digest, we explore the intersection of history and technology in India’s trade, along with industry insights on top cities, bestselling Indian products, factors driving exports via e-commerce, and the initiatives taken by Amazon to further accelerate India's exports.

E-commerce exports: Shining a light on ‘Made in India’ products

From gold and silver coins to paperless payments; from the Hundi credit system to export financing; from a single dockyard at Lothal in Gujarat to 13 major trading ports across India1; from a few city-states in Mesopotamia to more than 200 countries — according to historians, India’s export story has charted an evolutionary route as complex and long-winding as the county’s history itself.

Today, India’s exports is not just defined by its heritage, it is also helping showcase the country’s entrepreneurial prowess and innovation to the world. With the emergence of e-commerce exports, this phenomenon is now playing out right down to the district level.

Year in e-commerce exports: 2022

Amazon Global Selling is making exports easy by providing Indian brands access to hundreds of millions of customers (including over 200 million Prime members) globally. So far, the program has facilitated more than 125,000 Indian exporters to sell over 266 million products on Amazon’s international marketplaces.

$8 billion

Amazon is on track to enable $8 billion in cumulative e-commerce exports by end of 2023.


Indian exporters crossed $120,000 (INR 1 crore) in sales on Amazon Global Selling in 2022.


Registered exporters on the program from 28 states, 7 union territories, 200+ cities, and 5,300 pin codes across India.
*All data is for Indian exporters on Amazon Global Selling in 2022

India’s trade down the ages: A comparison

As far back as the Indus Valley civilization, India’s economy is said to have depended significantly on trade, facilitated by major advances in transport — from bullock carts to boats. The Harappans are said to have exported cotton, gemstones such as lapis lazuli and turquoise, gold, silver, and pottery through maritime routes charted across the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf; they imported raw materials — minerals from Iran and Afghanistan, jade from China, lead and copper from other parts of India — to be fashioned into jewellery, pottery, metal items, and more2.

Today, on one hand, e-commerce exports is promoting innovation in new products such as toys and beauty and wellness products rooted in Ayurveda. On the other, it is catalyzing a resurgence of our traditional small industries, arts, and handicrafts by making GI-tagged and artisanal products available to international customers in countries across the world. In doing this, cross-border e-commerce is enabling our cultural economy to thrive.
Read the full comparative study here

Ancient India: A pioneer in trade

Modern India: Taking digital strides

Evolution of trade networks
Historians have reported that there were extensive trade networks between the Harappan and Mesopotamian civilizations. From 15th-19th century, India is said to have strengthened its trade routes with Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the coastal regions of Europe. India was well connected to the famous Silk Road, a network of routes connecting China with the Middle East and Europe. The Spice Route, Salt Route, Incense Route, Tin Route, and Amber Road were other routes in ancient India.
Today, India trades with 224 countries and has signed 13 FTAs. Its new routes include the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) covering 13 countries, the India-Australia-Japan route, the Suez Canal trade route, and upcoming routes like the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. It also has agreements like the India-Bangladesh Protocol and the Motor Vehicles Agreement at the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal level to facilitate trade. Amazon Global Selling offers access to millions of customers worldwide from anywhere in India.
Made in India: Always in demand
Since the middle-Harappan Phase, India was catering to an export demand for textiles, spices, and special stones in Mesopotamia. Historians note that India exported fabrics and textiles, handicrafts, and spices from leading trade centers like Pataliputra, Mathura, Varanasi, Ujjain, Surat, and Tamralipti. In the 18th century, exquisite products like velvet satin from Bengal, Arani muslin from South India, weapons like swords and daggers, and silver, bronze, and copperware for houses were in demand.
Ancient trade epicenters like Ujjain and Surat are still leading global export hubs, exporting products like home décor (blue pottery), jewellery like kundan and thewa, and textiles like kalamkari and batik. Demand coexists for modern products like STEM toys and heritage ones like Channapatna toys, Madhubani paintings, and terracotta figurines. On Amazon Global selling, the top product categories being exported from India are home, kitchen, toys, luggage, beauty, health and personal care, and office products.
From barter system to paperless payments
Payments in India can be traced back to the barter system, which involved exchange of mostly perishable goods, till the use of cowrie shells and emergence of gold and silver coins. According to historians, from the 13th to 16th century, the Hundi system3 — an informal, unconditional financial contract or bill or exchange — flourished. The British introduced modern banking systems and formalized credit instruments such as checks, bills of exchange, and promissory notes, enabling more efficient and secure transactions in trade.
Payments have been simplified and digitized to a great extent — think credit and debit cards, netbanking, wallets, instant money transfer enabled by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Today, international customers can purchase Indian products and pay online in their local currency, while Indian exporters receive the payment in INR in their bank accounts. With the government introducing the ICEGATE portal, many payment reconciliation documents can be filed electronically, enabling paperless transactions.
Technology-aided evolution of logistics
Since the Harappan times, modes of transportation have evolved from animals to carts to boats moving along designated land and water routes. The invention of plank-built watercraft was a landmark development. Goods used to take weeks, sometimes months, to traverse from the origin location to the destination through these modes.
Movement of goods has been sped up drastically with the introduction of railways, containerization, evolution of shipping practices, and automated systems with barcodes and scanners to track shipments. Amazon Global Selling offers same-day or two-day delivery enabled by programs like Amazon FBA (warehousing at the destination) and SEND (managed logistics), while cutting costs.

Top 10 Indian states on Amazon Global Selling

Amazon Global Selling has over 125,000 exporters from 28 states and 7 union territories — from Telangana and Karnataka in the south to Jammu and Kashmir in the north, from Bihar and West Bengal in the east to Goa and Gujarat in the west. Each exporter on the program is contributing to and driving the e-commerce exports revolution. In this section, we bring you a deep dive into the top 10 Indian states in terms of e-commerce exports on the program, the top exporting cities from each state, as well as bestselling products on Amazon global marketplaces in 2022.
Top 10 Indian states in exports

$23 million

Exporters from Haridwar in Uttarakhand crossed $23 million (INR 180 crore) in sales in 2022.

$13 million

Exporters from Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan crossed $13 million (INR 100 crore) in sales in 2022.

$4 million

Exporters from Kolhapur in Maharashtra crossed $4 million in sales in 2022.

Top marketplaces for Indian exporters

Amazon Global Selling enables Indian exporters to register and sell on 18 Amazon global marketplaces across 200+ countries and territories including the US, the UK, the UAE, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, and more. Whether a multi-city store, local seller, upcoming startup or a seasoned exporter, irrespective of the business size, MSMEs can export from India and establish their business on the world map. With Amazon Global Selling, they can reach hundreds of millions of customers shopping on Amazon marketplaces across the world. In 2022, the top markets for Indian exporters on Amazon Global Selling were as below:
*All data is for Indian exporters on Amazon Global Selling in 2022

Ecosystem as an enabler for e-commerce exports

E-commerce exports is India’s new sunrise sector. To realize its potential ($200-$300 billion by 2030 as per government estimates), the entire ecosystem needs to come together. Here are the key ecosystem partners and the roles they play in making exports easy.

The government plays a vital role and is implementing policies (FTP 2023) to simplify e-commerce exports, launching financial incentives and skill development initiatives for MSMEs.

Trade bodies and industry associations provide industry representation, advocacy, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration opportunities to exporters.

• E-commerce exports programs such as Amazon Global Selling form the backbone of the industry. They make exports easy by providing exporters access to global markets and handholding them through tools, training, partnerships, and networking opportunities.

Partners (service provider network) provide support to e-commerce exporters with their expertise at every step from logistics and payment to seamless operations.

MSMEs benefit from e-commerce exports programs, gaining access to a wider customer base, expanding their reach and business, and driving economic growth.

Amazon Global Selling:
Taking local brands global

Amazon Global Selling is focused on simplifying some of the critical pain points associated with cross-border exports — market access and intelligence, logistics and supply chain, and payments. It is playing a key role in ensuring the success of exporters through proprietary tools and programs. Amazon has also identified a group of trusted third-party service providers to assist businesses in speeding up their exports journey. Amazon Service Provider Network or Amazon SPN, helps exporters create successful international businesses by providing support at every stage, from compliance and taxation to imaging, branded content, advertising, and account management.
Published on July 5th, 2023.

1. Chapter 22 Shipping, Statistical Year Book India 2018. Government of India.
2. What is the Silk Route? UNESCO
3. This chart shows the growth of India’s economy. World Economic Forum.
4. Museum, Hundies. Reserve Bank of India

*All data is for Indian exporters on Amazon Global Selling in 2022.

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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.
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