Flipkart may get a new financial investor as hinted by the top brass of the ecommerce firm — Walmart international president Judith McKenna and Flipkart co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal. The duo were speaking to a few Indian journalists at Walmart’s headquarter in Bentonville in US on the sidelines of Walmart investing $16 Bn for 77% stake in Flipkart.
On the interviewer’s question that asked, what could a new financial investor bring in apart from capital, McKenna said, “We are happy as it is today. We are happy to make sure that the business is successful. If we want to bring investors and if it makes sense for them and makes sense for us, we would have no objections to that.”
Among the stakeholders selling their stakes to Walmart in full or partial are Tiger Global (16.99%), SoftBank (22.3%), Naspers (13.76%), Ebay (6.55%), Accel Partners (2.88%), Sachin Bansal (5.96%), Binny Bansal (1.63%), and others (6.93%).
“We already have some of the financial investors on board, Accel is still on board, Tiger is still on board. Bringing in another one does not really change the shape of the shareholding. An IPO down the road is a reality,” Bansal said.
In response to Walmart-Flipkart future plans, McKenna hinted upon bringing global sourcing. She said, “There are a couple of areas. Global sourcing would be a clear example of the synergy that we can bring and we can draw synergies from Flipkart for Walmart business as well.”
The ecommerce behemoth boasts of nearly 270 Mn customers and members visiting over 11,700 Walmart stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and ecommerce websites. Walmart has an employee strength of about 2.3 Mn worldwide. The firm may as well consider an option to bring in more Indian products to Walmart.
On similar lines, Bansal said, “We are looking at Indian sellers selling on different Walmart properties across the globe. Not just bringing stuff to India but taking Indian stuff globally.”
Responding on Walmart’s plan to bring in more small kirana stores, McKenna said, “We have 1 Mn members, whom we have helped during GST transition. We are stepping up kirana development programme through internet, apps to improve their productivity and reduce their inventories.”
Post the deal, Flipkart will not be changing the operating structure of the company, as declared by Bansal. “Members of the board will change a little bit and we will continue to report to the board,” he added.