HomeFinanceSME & StartupsFlipkart opens supply chain arm eKart to other businesses

Flipkart opens supply chain arm eKart to other businesses

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E-commerce giant Flipkart Group on Thursday made its B2B supply chain and logistics arm eKart Logistics available to businesses and sellers outside its own platform.

EKart currently offers a range of logistics solutions, including warehousing to brands, platforms and small and large businesses. By extending its logistics arm to third-party sellers, Flipkart is now in direct competition with leading logistics companies like Delhivery, Bluedart and Ecom Express.

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Established in 2009, eKart grew alongside Flipkart’s e-commerce unit, handling most of its orders. The business has evolved and transformed, keeping pace with the retail landscape in India, and claims to handle more than 100 million shipments a month.

With its externalisation, eKart will now offer brands, platforms, and businesses end-to-end supply chain management, including dropshipping, inventory management, distribution and aggregation.

In addition, through Jeeves, the services arm of Flipkart, it will provide end-to-end solutions such as installation, demo and repair services for the after-sales needs of brands.

EKart has a growing network of fulfilment centres, mother hubs or sortation centres, and thousands of delivery hubs. It also has automated warehouses, including cross-belt sorters and automated guided vehicles to sort shipments based on pincodes, robotic arms, automated packaging and address intelligence for accurate and faster movement of shipments.

The suite of services provided by eKart across cash on delivery, QR-based payment, open box delivery, tech-visit and reinventorisation will help serve brands, platforms and small and large businesses with their fulfilment needs.

“As a supply chain that has grown and evolved with the e-commerce industry, we understand the unique opportunities and challenges present in the Indian market and are agile to evolve with them to provide the most efficient delivery service for businesses,” Hemant Badri, senior vice-president, eKart, said in a statement.

In February last year, the company had announced it would deploy more than 25,000 electric vehicles by 2030. Its electric fleet would include two-wheeler, three-wheeler, and four-wheeler vehicles designed and assembled in India. The company had partnered with Hero Electric, Mahindra Electric and Piaggio for vehicles to be deployed for its first and last-mile deliveries.

Flipkart had announced a slew of measures on Wednesday to get more sellers on its platform. To ease sellers’ liabilities and free up their working capital, Flipkart reduced the payment cycle to sellers from 15 days to 7-10 days. It also introduced a 10-minute onboarding service for sellers and an AI-led automated solution, which converts any product image to Flipkart-standard quality, for ease of listing and cataloguing.

The e-commerce firm also launched Flipkart Labs, an internal division created to build technology-based solutions based on e-commerce, which will be based out of its headquarters in Bengaluru. The lab will enable Flipkart and its group companies to test new web3 and metaverse use cases with real-world applications, including NFT-related use cases, virtual immersive storefronts, and other blockchain-related use cases.

Flipkart Camera, formed after the acquisition of AR/VR start-up Scapic in November 2020, has since deployed multiple 3D and augmented reality-based immersive shopping experiences and will continue to mature under the Flipkart Labs umbrella.

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