Walmart’s Indian subsidiary, Flipkart, reportedly plans to hire 70,000 new employees and indirectly employ many more in needed delivery work as it gears up for a big boost in online shopping around the religious holiday Diwali.
In this festive season, Reuters reported, Flipkart, Amazon’s Indian unit and Reliance Industries’ eCommerce business are all battling over the country’s online retail market. The COVID-19 crisis has pushed more Indians to pull out their smartphones to shop for groceries and other items.
Flipkart’s biggest sales numbers for the year are part of its “Big Billion Days,” patterned on Amazon’s Prime Day, the news outlet said. The idea is to run up sales in the festive shopping season. The four- or five-day long sale leads up to Diwali.
Flipkart said it plans to sign up more than 50,000 kiranas, or small grocery stores, to get its goods to customers needing last-mile delivery.
“While creating direct job opportunities across Flipkart’s supply chain, that include delivery executives, pickers, packers and sorters, there will also be additional indirect jobs created at Flipkart’s seller partner locations and (local corner stores),” the company told Reuters.
Last month, Flipkart launched its Flipkart Wholesale operations in several Indian cities, including Bengaluru, Gurugram and Delhi. The operation is a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including mom-and-pop stores.
Walmart announced the plan for Flipkart Wholesale in July. The first step was having Walmart India Private Ltd., which operated the Best Price wholesale business in India, acquired entirely by Flipkart. The stores operated like warehouse clubs, serving independent retailers and other small businesses.
Walmart said at the time that Flipkart had already demonstrated “extensive leadership in the consumer eCommerce segment and technology for the country’s mom-and-pop ‘kirana’ grocery stores and other small retailers.”
“As the eCommerce pioneer in India, the Flipkart Group has transformed the shopping experience for millions of Indian consumers,” said CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy at the time.