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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Flipkart acquires Walmart India’s wholesale business

  • Flipkart Wholesale will launch its operations in August and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion segment
  • The new business vertical will be headed by Adarsh Menon, Flipkart veteran

BENGALURU : E-commerce major Flipkart Group has acquired 100% stake in Walmart India Pvt Ltd, which operates the Best Price cash-and-carry business, and has launched Flipkart Wholesale, a new digital marketplace.

Flipkart Wholesale will launch its operations in August and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion segment. The new business vertical will be headed by Adarsh Menon, Flipkart veteran. Sameer Aggarwal, Walmart India CEO, will remain with the company to ensure a smooth transition, after which time he will move to another role within Walmart.

This reverse acquisition of the business-to-business segment of Walmart in India will help Flipkart to expand its footprint in the food and grocery segment and strengthen its supply chain. Walmart India operates 28 Best Price stores and has two fulfilment centres.

Bengaluru-based Flipkart said this will enable the transformation of the kirana retail ecosystem in the country by leveraging locally developed technology and help growth for kiranas and MSMEs.

Flipkart’s new B2B or wholesale online business can cater to the largely unorganised kirana segment and smaller shops can order goods directly through this platform.

Flipkart Wholesale will utilise the e-commerce firm’s supply chain infrastructure to reach kiranas and MSMEs across the country and draw on the merchandising experience of the Walmart India team and over twelve years of operating the Best Price stores.

Best Price currently supports more than 1.5 million members, including kiranas, horecas and other MSMEs.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said, “…With the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, we will now extend our capabilities across technology, logistics and finance to small businesses across the country. The acquisition of Walmart India adds a strong talent pool with deep expertise in the wholesale business that will strengthen our position to address the needs of kiranas and MSMEs uniquely."

Last week, Flipkart Group said it is set to receive a fund infusion of $1.2 billion led by majority owner Walmart, along with a group of existing shareholders, for its e-commerce business.

The investment values the Flipkart Group at $24.9 billion in post-money valuation, with funds expected to come across in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal.

In 2018, Walmart Inc. invested $16 billion for a majority stake in Flipkart.

“For over a decade, we’ve been committed to India’s prosperity by serving kiranas and MSMEs, supporting smallholder farmers and building global sourcing and technology hubs throughout the country. Today marks the next big step as Walmart India’s pioneering cash-and-carry legacy meets Flipkart’s culture of innovation in the launch of Flipkart Wholesale," said Judith McKenna, President and CEO, Walmart International.

Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head - Flipkart Wholesale, said, “Flipkart Wholesale will further deepen and build on Walmart India and the Flipkart Group’s commitment to kiranas and MSMEs over the last several years. Thousands of kiranas have already partnered with Flipkart to enhance their business and income streams. We will leverage the synergies between Flipkart and Walmart India as we stay focused on transforming the wholesale experience for kiranas and MSMEs."

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