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News Roundup: India’s Ecommerce Players Spruce Up Ahead Of Festive Season & More

News Roundup: India’s Ecommerce Players Spruce Up Ahead Of Festive Season & More

Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have all ramped up their logistics capabilities as they are expecting increased demand during the festive season

Flipkart-owned online fashion marketplace Myntra has received a fund infusion of $103 Mn

Global ecommerce giant Amazon has sent a legal notice to the Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group, over the latter’s alleged breach of a non-compete contract

As the Indian festive season inches closer, India’s retail and ecommerce giants are pulling out all stops to ace the ‘battle for sales’. 

This week, major ecommerce players Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal announced the ramping of their logistics capabilities to ensure that the festive season demand can be met. 

Amazon India, which will host its Great Indian Festival sale starting October 17, added a new fulfilment centre – the largest in India at Kolar. With this addition, the ecommerce platform now has more than 4 Mn cubic feet across four fulfilment centres in India.

Walmart-owned ecommerce giant Flipkart, which will host its Big Billion Days sale from October 16 – 21, has inked its allotment agreement with Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (HSIIDC) for 140 acres to set up its largest fulfilling centre in Asia. The centre with a covered area of 3 Mn square feet is set to come up at Manesar.

Meanwhile, Snapdeal, which announced its ‘Kum Mein Dum’ sale from October 16 to October 20, expanded its logistics network by opening 25 new centres at manufacturing hubs across 10 cities in India. 

Other ecommerce companies aren’t too far behind either. Flipkart-owned online fashion marketplace Myntra has received a fund infusion of $103 Mn from Flipkart’s Singapore-based subsidiary FK Myntra Holdings. 

Reliance-owned offline-to-online omnichannel platform Fynd has also inked a partnership with Flipkart. The terms of the partnership will see at least 30 of Fynd’s brands go live on Flipkart’s online platform. These brands will also be able to accrue certain benefits of being a seller on Flipkart. These include, Flipkart Assured tag on Day 1 for all their products, automatic order assignment to the nearest store saving the logistics cost and participation in the Flipkart loyalty program, among others. 

Even as ecommerce players scramble to beef up their offerings before the festive rush, some have initiated fresh legal disputes against each other. 

Global ecommerce giant Amazon has sent a legal notice to the Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group, over the latter’s alleged breach of a non-compete contract with the sale of its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing businesses to Reliance Retail in August this year.

According to the contract signed between Amazon and Future, the sale of the business to rivals (Reliance) is barred. Amazon, in its legal notice, has claimed that Future Group violated the deal between the two companies when it entered into an agreement with Reliance earlier this year. 

Reliance Retail on August 30 acquired the retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing businesses of the Future Group for INR 24K Cr. Biyani’s Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL) retained the manufacturing and distribution of FMCG goods, integrated fashion sourcing and manufacturing businesses, its insurance joint venture with Generali, and a joint venture with NTC Mills.

With the launch of its online store JioMart, Reliance Retail entered into direct competition with Amazon in the ecommerce sector. Both platforms are trying to beef up their online offerings, in terms of product categories and discounts, ahead of the Diwali festive season.

This year’s festive season is all the more important for India’s ecommerce players, as the financial disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic saw all ecommerce players suffer a loss of revenue. This is because the sale of non-essentials through ecommerce platforms was barred during the two months of hard lockdown, imposed between late-March and late-May. 

Other News 

  1. The ongoing standoff between Indian foodtech unicorn Swiggy and its delivery workers in Hyderabad seems to have taken a violent turn. And in the line of fire are delivery executives trying to make a living.
    As some of the company’s delivery workers strike against a cut in wages, others choose to work due to a financial crunch at their homes. Now it seems that both the groups of delivery workers have clashed on multiple occasions.
  2. Speaking at a video conference for mini app developers, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma formally launched his company’s new offering, a “Mini App Store”. Sharma announced an INR 10 Cr fund for making equity investments with mini app developers to help them launch a mini app, or scale their existing mobile application. Sharma also laid out the features of the Paytm Mini App Store, revealing it to be a competitor to Google Spot.
  3. Apple and Samsung are among the 16 companies, both Indian and international, which have been approved under the government’s Product Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to boost electronics manufacturing in the country.
    Of the 16 approved applicants, 10 have been approved under the Mobile Phones segment. The international mobile phone manufacturing companies approved under the scheme include Samsung, Foxconn Hon Hai, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron. Among these, Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron are contract manufacturers for global tech giant Apple, which is looking to manufacture the iPhone 12 Series in India.
  4. Global ecommerce giant Amazon has sent a legal notice to the Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group, over the latter’s alleged breach of a non-compete contract with the sale of its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing businesses to Reliance Retail in August this year.
  5. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted a stay on the first information report (FIR) against OYO Hotels and Homes Private Ltd and Weddingz.in for alleged fraud and conspiracy. The FIR was filed by Chandigarh-based businessman Vikas Gupta in Derra Bassi town in Punjab on the plea of OYO Hotels.

Among the notable movers and shakers this week, electric vehicle maker Zypp Electric has appointed Himanshu Budhiraja as its VP-Growth and Uday Shankar, chairman of Star & Disney India and president, The Walt Disney Company APAC has quit from his position. He will remain at Disney till December 31.

From the funding and acquisitions corner, overall, $99 Mn was invested across 21 Indian startups this week

We will be back with next week’s edition of News Roundup.