Flipkart expands outreach to get more small businesses sell online; partners with IIM Sambalpur

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August 08, 2021 12:35 PM

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs:: Flipkart also works closely with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), IIT (Kharagpur, Bombay, and Kanpur), IIM (Ahmedabad and Kolkata), and a few foreign universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Diego to develop technologies such as fashion recommendation, query understanding, etc.

“Flipkart continues to drive strong growth in GMV (gross merchandise value) in line with our high expectations,” said Walmart president & CEO Doug McMillon while speaking at the earnings call.“Flipkart continues to drive strong growth in GMV (gross merchandise value) in line with our high expectations,” said Walmart president & CEO Doug McMillon while speaking at the earnings call.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Walmart-owned Flipkart continues to expand its outreach initiatives to bring small businesses into the e-commerce fold. The IPO-bound e-commerce company has announced a partnership with IIM Sambalpur in Odisha to help small businesses, artisans, and weavers sell on Flipkart’s marketplace. Flipkart said in a statement that an “operational framework to support under-served communities” will be created through this partnership to enhance their market reach. According to the programme, Flipkart’s executives will share operational know-how, market and consumer insights with businesses.

“By combining institutional learning and practical industry experience, we aim to provide entrepreneurs best practices and deeper insight on how to leverage e-commerce for their growth. We are hopeful that weavers, artisans and farmers will leverage this opportunity to showcase their skills and high-quality traditional heritage products to a national consumer base and reach new heights and recognition,” said Prof Mahadeo Prasad Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur. The collaboration extends Flipkart’s partnerships with academic institutions.

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Last year, the company had tied-up with IIT Patna to help create industry-focused applied research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Machine Learning (ML) for students and professors to work closely with Flipkart on research projects. The company also works closely with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), IIT (Kharagpur, Bombay, and Kanpur), IIM (Ahmedabad and Kolkata), and a few foreign universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Diego to develop technologies such as fashion recommendation, query understanding, attribute extraction, demand planning, product categorization, review helpfulness, supply chain management, fraud detection, and next basket prediction.

“Our team’s expertise, technology, learnings and insights serving a pan-India market will come very handy for MSMEs, artisans, and the Indian handicraft industry through this partnership with IIM Sambalpur,” said Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group. Under the Flipkart Samarth initiative, the company had partnered with multiple states including Odisha to help onboard Odia brands such as Boyanika, Utkalika, and Sambalpuri Bastralaya, among others, on its e-commerce marketplace.

Meanwhile, Flipkart along with its founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal were issued a “show cause notice” in early July by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) asking them why they shouldn’t be fined $1.35 billion for allegedly violating foreign investment laws, Reuters had reported on Thursday. According to the report citing an ED official, the case was related to an investigation with respect to allegations that Flipkart had attracted foreign investment and a related party, WS Retail, and then sold goods to consumers on its shopping website, which was prohibited under Indian laws.

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