Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy says as platforms like ours get bigger and bigger, it starts to mirror the country’s commerce structure
With its annual flagship sale right around the corner, Flipkart’s chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy shares how this will be the biggest ever Big Billion Days (BBD) sale despite sceptical consumer sentiment, and how the event will be different this year. Edited excerpts:
How is BBD going to be bigger and different this year?
When we say bigger, we mean how it can have the most customer impact—that’s the only thing we mean. There was a perception earlier that BBD is about discounts. That’s not the case anymore. It’s heavily about access and affordability. How do you get access to the real India—and not to the top 10% internet users but the next 30%.
How is Flipkart looking at leveraging vernacular languages and voice?
This is the first BBD where we will have a Hindi interface as well. Voice is not yet launched for the customers. I think mostly Q4 or Q1.
You mentioned access and affordability. Could you elaborate on that?
Several years back, access was just about getting the product to the customer. Today, it’s more about how do I get the product to them in a customized manner. For instance, furniture requires a completely different supply chain and we not only deliver it, we provide installation and a demo for it. And about affordability, we didn’t have 55 million customers who can access credit earlier. It was barely 10 million a few years ago.
How has e-commerce growth been this year against the backdrop of consumption dropping in the country?
I can’t speak for overall e-commerce but Flipkart is a value player. During times of slowdown, users come to us for more value. So we don’t see too much of a slowdown on our platform.
How are the offerings different on Flipkart’s different platforms such as 2GUD, Myntra, etc.?
The customer proposition is very different. Myntra is slightly more mass-premium and premium. Flipkart is heavily mass and value and 2GUD caters to the lower end of the value. There might be some overlap but otherwise, it’s very different from each other.
With consumer electronic sales dropping, how has your category mix changed, since smartphones is a major contributor to the GMV?
As platforms like ours get bigger and bigger, it starts to mirror the country’s commerce structure. If you see commerce in India, fashion is probably 3.5 times the size of smartphones. That’s the way it will involve on Flipkart as well. From a customer point of view, fashion is the top category.
What kind of a role will PhonePe play in the upcoming sale?
BBD is not specifically a PhonePe event. It will be there as our payment partner. In general, we partner with them for payments, so nothing special this year.
What role has Walmart played in BBD this year?
Walmart has got nothing to do with BBD.
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