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BENGALURU: Homegrown e-tailer Flipkart has launched its digital business-to business (B2B) marketplace as e-commerce firms boost such operations, digitising kiranas and leveraging online sales to take advantage of India’s large consumer base.

Flipkart Wholesale aims to connect local manufacturers with retailers and bring the wholesale marketplace at their fingertips using technology.

In July, Flipkart acquired the Indian operations of Walmart Inc. as its US parent consolidates its operations in this fast-growing retail market to compete with Reliance Industries Ltd and Amazon, among others. Taking over Walmart India Pvt. Ltd, which operates the Best Price cash-and-carry wholesale stores, digital marketplace Flipkart Wholesale will help the e-commerce firm grow its B2B vertical.

Flipkart Wholesale claims to be a one-stop solution which will offer businesses a wide selection of products at significant value to help them grow. The platform is currently available for fashion retailers, especially footwear and apparel, in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru, with plans to expand to Mumbai as well.

By the year-end, Flipkart Wholesale plans to expand to 20 more cities and in categories such as home and kitchen and grocery.

The B2B digital platform, accessible to retailers via the app on Google Play Store, aims to rope in over 300 strategic partners and have over 2 lakh listings in 2 months. Additionally, the platform will enable the onboarding of 50 brands and over 250 local manufacturers in the coming days.

“Flipkart Wholesale is built on the core value proposition of bringing prosperity to Indian Kiranas and MSMEs by making their business easier using technology. With the strong capability within the group in B2B, we will focus on meeting the needs of kiranas and MSMEs by providing these small businesses a wide selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier," said Adarsh Menon, senior vice-president and head, Flipkart Wholesale.

Flipkart Wholesale customers will have access to an easy credit facility to manage cash flow, a range of products, convenient order returns and speedy product delivery directly to their shops with an easy order tracking facility.

Reliance Industries’ e-commerce portal JioMart is working with small shopkeepers or kiranas to enable online deliveries. It plans to scale up the model going forward and is expected to expand to apparel, electronics and healthcare.

Reliance JioMart, which has been onboarding kiranas, has shaken up a lot of things in the B2B market over the last six months.

“If Walmart wanted to build its B2B side of the business just by way of their own stores, the only way to succeed is to have Flipkart do it because that’s the way they can scale," said an analyst, who didn’t want to be named.

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