eKart will offer end-to-end supply chain management solutions including dropship, inventory management, distribution and aggregation to brands, platforms, and businesses
Jeeves, Flipkart’s services arm, will also provide end-to-end solutions including installation, demo and repair services for the after-sales needs of brands
Both eKart and Jeeves will help brands and businesses of all sizes to focus on innovation and growth
Ecommerce giant Flipkart’s logistics arm eKart Logistics will now offer its services to small, medium and large (SMB) businesses and other brands across India.
eKart will offer end-to-end supply chain management solutions including dropship, inventory management, distribution and aggregation to brands, platforms, and businesses. Earlier, the ecommerce giant had limited eKart’s services for its own operations.
Besides this, Jeeves, the services arm of Flipkart, will also provide end-to-end solutions including installation, demo and repair services for the after-sales needs of brands.
Founded in 2009, eKart has a network of fulfilment centres, sortation centres and delivery hubs in India. It claims to deliver an average of nearly 100 Mn shipments in a month. Its offering includes cash on delivery (COD), QR-based payment, open box delivery, tech-visit and re-inventorisation.
In 2016, Flipkart spun off eKart after buying it back from WS Retail in 2015. During this time, eKart ventured into the hyperlocal segment, but ceased its hyperlocal deliveries in 2017.
eKart competes with Amazon’s logistics arm, Amazon Transportation Services Private Limited (ATSL), in the ecommerce space. Its other competitors include Delhivery, Ecom Express, ShipRocket and Xpressbees.
On Thursday, Flipkart also announced the launch of its in-house innovation lab, Flipkart Labs, to build technology-based solutions that reshape ecommerce and improve the shopping experience of customers.
As per a statement, Flipkart Labs will enable Flipkart and its group companies to test Web3 and Metaverse use-cases with real-world applications including NFT-related use-cases, virtual immersive storefronts, play-to-earn, and other Blockchain-related use-cases.
Flipkart Ramps Up Its Initiatives For Other Brands
Over the years, Flipkart has taken a host of new initiatives for Indian brands. In a bid to support D2C brands, the ecommerce giant launched Flipkart Boost in September 2021. In essence, Flipkart Boost is a service fee model that provides end-to-end support to Indian brands in planning, advertising, logistics and other growth-related activities.
Besides this, Flipkart had also launched Pitch Day for Indian brands. Under this initiative, the selected brands get an opportunity to secure investment from venture capital funds and investors such as A91 Partners, Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, DSG Consumer Partners, Fireside Ventures, and Stellaris Venture Partners.
The ecommerce giant also runs a startup accelerator programme, Flipkart Leap. In 2021, it selected eight startups – ANS Commerce, Entropik, Fashinza, Gully Network, Piggy, Tagbox Solutions, Unbox Robotics, and Fasal – in the first cohort of the accelerator programme. It also launched Flipkart Ventures to help digital startups turn their ideas into a successful business model.
Flipkart has a slew of subsidiaries that are helping Indian players in the competitive business ecosystem. For instance, Flipkart’s digital payment app, PhonePe, enables a large number of digital transactions between individuals and SMBs thus, helping SMBs embrace digitisation. Its healthcare-focused subsidiary SastaSundar is an online pharmacy and digital platform that offers healthcare services to customers. Besides this, the platform also supports small neighbourhood pharmacies via the B2B platform, Retailer Shakti.
The ecommerce giant is currently looking to list on the US bourses in 2023. Recently, it increased its IPO valuation target to $60-$70 Bn from $50 Bn earlier.