Flipkart is putting the money where its mouth is⁠— and it’s not food and groceries yet

Flipkart is putting the money where its mouth is⁠— and it’s not food and groceries yet
BCCL
  • Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a recent interview has said that while grocery is a value-proposition for them, the e-commerce giant’s priority continues to be the marketplace.
  • With the coronavirus pandemic, several companies have pivoted or diversified into new ventures, or even accelerated their diversification plans to meet the demand.
  • Walmart-owned Flipkart had applied for a license to run Flipkart FarmerMart – a food retail entity that would sell agricultural produce of Indian farmers online.
Walmart-owned Flipkart has been trying to mark its foray into grocery but it had recently been turned down by the Indian government. And now, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has said that while grocery is a value-proposition for them, the e-commerce giant is not going to forget its priority or change its long term strategy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are not in that opportunistic game of doubling down on anything. As for grocery, if we believe there is a strong value proposition, we will continue expanding our footprint but in a very sustainable way. We will not change our long-term growth strategy or category mix focus after the Covid-19 outbreak,” Krishamurthy told Economic Times in an interview.

Krishnamurthy also added that grocery is just 0.1% of Flipkart’s marketplace.

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With the coronavirus pandemic, several companies have pivoted or diversified into new ventures, or even accelerated their diversification plans to meet the demand. Amazon has been running a pilot for its food delivery vertical in Bengaluru. MakeMyTrip too has entered food delivery with 5-star hotels, while the likes of Paytm have launched a contactless dining feature for restaurants in the post covid world.

Walmart-owned Flipkart too had applied for a license to run Flipkart FarmerMart – a food retail entity that would sell agricultural produce of Indian farmers online. However, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has rejected the application saying that the Flipkart FarmerMart would flout the regulatory guidelines.

According to the government, any e-commerce platform with foreign direct investment can simply be the platform for the third party sellers to reach out to buyers, but it cannot sell inventory of its own. TOI reported that the Flipkart FarmerMart’s memorandum of association would not allow it to enter food retail. Flipkart is now reapplying for the license.

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