Flipkart to invest heavily in technology, supply chain, says CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy

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Updated: August 1, 2019 7:11:40 AM

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy talks to FE’s Asmita Dey on the sidelines of the event.

MoS of finance and corporate affairs Anurag Thakur and Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy at the launch of Flipkart Samarth, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Tashi Tobgyal)

Walmart-owned Flipkart on Wednesday launched Flipkart Samarth, an initiative that aims to help India’s artisans and weavers leverage the reach of the country’s burgeoning e-commerce sector. Flipkart, with its rich base of over 150 million users, will give the artisan community access to national market and boost employment. Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy talks to FE’s Asmita Dey on the sidelines of the event. Excerpts:

The company believes that the Samarth initiative is aligned with the government’s vision to create more jobs. How many jobs are you looking to create through this initiative?

There are five partners whom we have on board already for this programme. There are about 30,000 artisans already associated with these five partners and we are in discussions with many more partners. We should not be targeting these things. When you have a cost like this, it should not be target-driven. I think these 30,000 sellers themselves will create a few lakh jobs.

As an outreach of the programme, you will be providing technology and logistics support to the sellers. Can you give us an estimate of the investments that you will be making for the same?

We have been investing a huge amount in the last seven years itself. Although I cannot give you a number, I can say it is ‘big, meaningful’. Technology and supply chain are the two areas where we make most of our investments.

What are your expectations from the e-commerce policy that the government is currently working on?

The consultations with the government has been exceptionally progressive. They talk to us, they ask us questions, they want to know more about what is going on in the world. So this is the right thing.

Lately, we have seen a slowdown across consumer-centric sectors like auto, retail. Did the e-commerce sector see a similar trend? Has consumer sentiment been impacted?

We (Flipkart) are a value player in the market. Even if the market is a bit slow, the marketplace does more listings. So, we do not see a slowdown in that climate. We can see a very good growth.

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