Walmart, Flipkart employees to get a chance to switch between the companies

Walmart would open up all doors to Flipkart to ensure it gets all the grocery and fresh produce for its online play
In an internal communication, global retail giant Walmart has told its employees they have an option to work on various projects at online marketplace Flipkart. A similar communication has been sent at Flipkart, asking employees on their interest in working at Walmart to learn more about how the retail giant functions, sources said.

The move comes after Walmart closed its $16-billion deal to acquire a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart. While Flipkart management hopes its employees would learn the nuances of handling grocery segment, Walmart wants to learn more about the logistics, delivery side of business as well as about the tech that goes behind running a e-commerce marketplace.

“Walmart India Cash and Carry, and Flipkart will continue to be separate brands. As with any other organisation, in Walmart, too, there is always a scope to move talent across different entities or geographies based on expertise, business requirements and to give exposure to our associates so that they learn and acquire best practices,” a Walmart spokesperson said.

Flipkart, however, did not comment on a questionnaire sent on the issue. According to sources, Flipkart, which has just restarted its efforts to run the grocery vertical successfully, would be learning more about things related to inventory management, how to handle fresh produce and cold chains. 

From cold chain to its farm aggregation centre, Walmart would open up all doors to Flipkart to ensure it gets all the grocery and fresh produce for its online play. 

In August, the company announced the launch of Flipkart Supermart, its grocery store, in all major pin codes of Bengaluru with plans to expand to six major cities by the end of 2018. Flipkart’s groceries portfolio spans staples, FMCG and dairy products.

The company has set up a dedicated, cost-efficient supply chain that includes building a new warehouse and last-mile delivery network, and making open-box slotted deliveries for easy doorstep returns.  

Country’s most-valued e-commerce firm has set aside close to $300 million for having a strong network of hyperlocal grocers, cold chain and warehousing. “Grocery is a constant point of discussion for the company. If it was about electronics earlier, they have now realised that repeat customers with smaller but consistent ticket size would only come from grocery. Walmart is helping Flipkart devise a strategy to go forward with the plan,” said a source close to the company.

Walmart, on the other hand, has been testing at-home delivery in the US and wants Flipkart’s logistics experts to help them smoothen the network. The firm is trying to take on Amazon, rival retailers Kroger and Target in the US, and is planning to expand its delivery services across the country.

“This is the kind of cross-training and knowledge transfer would help both in the long run,” added the source.