Flipkart Group has acquired 100 percent stake in Walmart India's cash and carry business and is set to launch Flipkart Wholesale, a new digital marketplace, aimed at transforming Kirana ecosystem in India.  The wholesale operations will commence in August, and it will be headed by Flipkart Senior Vice President and Head Adarsh Menon.

The move will allow the e-commerce giant to leverage the strong wholesale capabilities of Walmart India and foster growth for kiranas and MSME sector. The acquisition also comes at a time when India’s e-commerce battle is being redrawn with Reliance JioMart's plans to leverage its telecom reach to propel online commerce.

The announcement comes a week after Flipkart had said it had raised USD 1.2 billion in funding from a Walmart-led investor group. In 2018, Walmart Inc had invested USD 16 billion for acquiring 77 per cent stake in the group.

Flipkart Wholesale is a new digital marketplace focusing on addressing the business-to-business (B2B) segment in India.

“This marketplace is going to effectively link sellers and manufacturers on one end and kiranas and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the other end,” Flipkart Senior Vice President and Head - Flipkart Wholesale Adarsh Menon told PTI.

The acquisition will help strengthen the capabilities to address the requirements of kirana and MSMEs, he said.

The move will further intensify competition with Flipkart''s rival Amazon that has a similar offering for the B2B segment.

"The B2B market for finished goods is estimated to be worth USD 650 billion. To start with, we will be focusing on USD 140 billion of that USD 650 billion, which is largely the categories of fashion, grocery, general merchandise, large and small electronics," Menon said.

Walmart, the world''s biggest retailer, had entered India through a partnership with Bharti Enterprises for a cash-and-carry business that allows small businesses, kirana stores and hotels to buy in bulk.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha