Walmart CEO says impressed with the performance of Flipkart in India

At an investor meeting, the Walmart management showcased the strides made by the ecommerce startup, which included the rising number of customer visits on the platform.

The performance by India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart and its fashion retailer business Myntra have impressed the top management of its parent company Walmart.

“We made an investment there (Flipkart) 18 months ago and we continue to be impressed with the teams that have a strong culture and the way they operate,” said Walmart International Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Judith McKenna.

She made these observations at the company’s 2020 Investment Community Meeting held in New York on February 18.

According to Judith, Flipkart’s monthly active customer base grew by 45 percent. The transactions per customer increased 30 percent and it has tracked over one billion visits per month.

Walmart acquired Flipkart in a deal valued about $16 billion in May 2018, which became a high point for the Indian startup ecosystem. Currently, it is locked in fierce competition with Amazon in the India market.

“I have been to India five times last year, and I never seize to be amazed by the energy, the spirit, and the entrepreneurship of the folks of our business,” Judith said.

She said the engagement with Flipkart is continuing to grow as the customers in India are becoming more comfortable with the convenience and the availability it is providing.

According to her, Flipkart is building innovations tailored for the Indian market, including voice-assisted transaction capabilities in vernacular language, fintech constructs to increase access to credit, and affordability options for shoppers.

"Only 10 percent of families in India own a smart TV, washing machine, or an air conditioner. When they are sold on Flipkart, the company is teaching the customers to use those new products and that, in turn, drives confidence in the firm,” she remarked.

The Walmart official also emphasised on how Flipkart is taking steps to tap into the Tier-II cities.

“I can tell you the health of the platform (Flipkart) is strong. Its strategy is simple, (which) is to democratise shopping by providing affordability and access,” said Judith.

(Edited by Suman Singh)


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