Amazon.com Inc and Alibaba-backed Indian grocery venture BigBasket, have secured clearance to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, according to a document seen by Reuters.
According to a Reuters report, in a notice on Friday, West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorised agency to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazon and Big Basket were among the companies found to be eligible for registration with authorities.
The adoption of e-commerce among Indians only intensified due to the coronavirus pandemic. Considering that more and more state governments are formulating ways to allow the home delivery of alcohol, a multi-dollar sector in the country, both established online marketplaces and the government will benefit from revenues.
According to estimates by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the alcohol market in India is worth $27.2 billion.
West Bengal is India's fourth most populous state, with a population of more than 90 million people and Amazon has been invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state, said the notice seen by Reuters.
Food-delivery startups, Swiggy and Zomato, started delivering alcohol in some cities last month, cashing in on the high demand for booze as many states allowed it to avoid queues outside retail outlets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Each state sets its own alcohol sales policy. West Bengal last month invited companies to express interest for "handling electronic ordering, purchase, sale and home delivery of alcoholic liquors from licensed retail outlets" to eligible legal-age consumers in the state.
Over the years, Amazon has expanded its e-commerce operations in India over the years and has committed $6.5 billion in investments in the country, one of its key growth markets.