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Flipkart to grow grocery business, experiment with new revenue models in 2021

Flipkart to grow grocery business, experiment with new revenue models in 2021
Photo Credit: Reuters
19 Feb, 2021

Ecommerce giant Flipkart aims to strengthen its value proposition in the grocery business, expand its loyalty programme Flipkart Plus and experiment with new revenue models in 2021, CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said on Thursday. 

In the Covid-hit ecommerce business, Flipkart’s fourth quarter GMV alone was nearly double than that of the full year. The company, Krishnamurthy said at the Walmart Q4 investor presentation, was also able to “re-architect” its financials to become more prudent. 

In a bid to strengthen its grocery business, the company launched Flipkart Wholesale last year.

“Our recent launch of Flipkart Wholesale brought in Flipkart’s logistics and Walmart’s cash and carry business to help change B2B retail in India and support millions of kiranas,” Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International, said during the presentation. 

On other retail opportunities, Krishamurthy said, “Fashion is another big category in India, underpenetrated digitally. We want to capitalise on that. We will be investing in technology and infrastructure too, not just next year, but also in the years to come.”

Last year, Flipkart bought a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, which houses brands such as Peter England, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe. Flipkart also invested in Universal Sportsbiz (USPL), whose fashion brands include Wrogn and Imara.

The company, Krishnamurthy said, will experiment with new revenue models. It will also continue to invest in its advertising platform, which, he said, is among the top five in India. 

Also on the company’s growth card is payments entity PhonePe, which was recently hived off from Flipkart as a separate entity. “We are processing over 1 billion monthly payment transactions through PhonePe in India,” McKenna  said. 

PhonePe is currently the largest payments app on the UPI infrastructure, in terms of monthly transaction volume and value. 

“This year, we have set a target to create 10,000 rural jobs to scale our merchant network to 25 million small businesses across 5,500 semi-urban and rural districts in India,” Sameer Nigam, founder and CEO of PhonePe, said.

PhonePe’s focus last year was on building customised business growth solutions for small businesses and kiranas. It launched a store discovery platform for the consumer app. “It helped consumers discover and chat with all the local kiranas, pharmacies and other essential service providers,” Nigam said. 

The entity also set up PhonePe ATMs, where small retail shops could double up as ATM centres and consumers could withdraw petty cash instead of having to visit banks. “More than 2 million merchants have signed up as ATM merchants,” Nigam said.

PhonePe currently  has over 275 million registered users and over 110 million monthly active users. Its annual TPV (total payment volume) run rate has surpassed $300 billion.

Overall, Walmart International reported sales of $34.9 billion, which was led by Flipart and Walmart’s other businesses in Mexico and Canada. This is a 5.5% year-on-year increase in net sales for the fourth quarter of financial year 2020-21.