Ecommerce giant Flipkart has announced a major drive to bring 50,000 medium and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) onto their platform by the end of 2019.
The company regards the onboarding of MSMEs as crucial for sourcing the maximum number of product categories locally, cutting down on logistics cost and aiding in faster delivery of orders. The MSME connect will also help Flipkart to expand their presence in Tier-III cities and small towns.
Flipkart claims to have around 100,000 MSME sellers on their platform already. In a non-festive month, the company sells over 20 Mn product units of which a significant 70% come from these small sellers. In the past 12 months alone, moreover, over 2,500 small sellers have conducted business worth INR 1 crore.
“Our knowledge and understanding of the Indian ecosystem allow us to construct frameworks such as ‘Growth Capital’ through which sellers can scale their businesses, prosper, create more employment opportunities, and continue to transform the country’s economy,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, group CEO of Flipkart.
Flipkart had previously demonstrated its support for MSME growth by revamping its ‘Growth Capital’ seller financing programme, with the new changes allowing over one lakh small sellers to avail credit at competitive interest rates and within 48 hours of applying. It had also stated its commitment to following new ecommerce FDI rules that prohibit online marketplaces from exercising control over the inventories of sellers.
Myntra, part of the Flipkart Group, has also ramped up its efforts in partnering with small sellers by connecting over 20,000 kirana stores across 24 states for its last-mile delivery programme.
“Our aim is to ensure that India’s internet economy becomes a hub for innovation and as a home-grown company. We want to solve unique Indian problems through technology. We are committed to making it happen through our initiatives focused on MSMEs, agriculture, Make in India, skilling, and building partnership with kiranas,” said Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer for Flipkart Group.
Flipkart expects the new move to generate at least a million secondary jobs to support the necessary logistics to be set in place for rapid growth.