India eCommerce behemoth Flipkart has done a bit of flip-flopping in its corporate strategy. Earlier this year the company reported plans to shift its business model to one that emulates Alibaba, the firm’s suppliers said.
Other changes are coming up for the B2C and B2B online commerce platform ahead of its rumored IPO sometime next year.
On Tuesday (Sept. 22), reports said Flipkart has decided to repurchase its logistics arm, previously acquired by WS Retail Services for an undisclosed amount. According to reports, the buyback is part of the eCommerce company’s efforts to restructure and streamline its business as the nation’s largest online marketplace.
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Flipkart reportedly created a vehicle called Instakart Services Pvt Ltd., unnamed sources said. The company took a similar route in 2009 in its creation of WS Retail, which operated as a seller on the Flipkart site. WS Retail reportedly procured goods from Flipkart’s B2B unit to then resell those products through its B2C platform.
WS Retail was owned by two Flipkart cofounders until 2012 when they were forced to divest their stake in the company.
When WS Retail was created, it took on Flipkart’s e-kart logistics unit, reports said.
The saga is part of Flipkart’s shift to a marketplace model, allowing consumers and businesses to connect to third-party sellers through its platform. Sources said WS Retail, however, is likely to continue as a seller over the Flipkart platform for some time.
Reports added that Flipkart’s logistics buyback is part of its plan to operate like Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba, which makes money through logistics, payments and other B2B services with the sellers that use its site.