Why Flipkart Is Buying 100% Of Walmart India Private Limited (WMT)

By Amit Chowdhry ● July 26, 2020
  • Flipkart — the Indian e-commerce giant that is majority-owned by Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) — announced that it is buying a 100% interest in Wal-Mart India Private Limited

Flipkart — the Indian e-commerce giant that is majority-owned by Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) — announced that it is buying a 100% interest in Wal-Mart India Private Limited — which is known for operating the “Best Price” wholesale business. This deal is expected to strengthen capabilities and business-to-business service offerings and Flipkart will utilize talent, a strong technology backbone, deep merchandising expertise, and a solid logistics infrastructure to accelerate growth and prosperity for micro and small retailers across India.

As part of the deal — The Flipkart Group — also announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale. Flipkart Wholesale is a new digital marketplace that will help transform India’s retail ecosystem by utilizing cutting-edge and locally developed extensive leadership in the consumer e-commerce segment and technology for the country’s mom-and-pop “kirana” grocery stores and other small retailers. And as part of this launch, The Flipkart Group also announced the acquisition of 100% interest in Wal-Mart India Private Limited — which operates the Best Price cash-and-carry business to utilize the strong wholesale capabilities of the company and enable growth and prosperity for the nation’s kiranas and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The launch and acquisition follows the recent announcement of a new $1.2 billion equity round — which valued the Flipkart Group at $24.9 billion post-money. Kiranas and MSMEs are known to be central to India’s retail ecosystem with around 12 million kirana stores serving neighborhoods throughout the country. And Flipkart Wholesale will focus on meeting their needs by providing a wide product selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier.

The businesses — whether in grocery, general merchandise, or fashion — will have one-stop access to an extensive selection of products with attractive schemes and incentives, supplemented with data-driven recommendations for stock selection, delivered through a fast network to drive better efficiencies and margins.

Plus kiranas and MSMEs will benefit from access to easy credit options and opportunities for new income generation through various Flipkart initiatives, creating new ways to catalyze growth. And these opportunities are especially relevant at this time as kiranas and MSMEs work towards achieving scale and profitability following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flipkart Wholesale will utilize Flipkart’s strong homegrown technology capabilities, extensive leadership in the consumer e-commerce segment, and unique understanding of the industry in India. And the business will also utilize the Flipkart Group’s vast supply chain infrastructure to reach kiranas and MSMEs across the country. Flipkart Wholesale is going to draw on the merchandising experience of the Walmart India team, strong relationships with brands, and its deep DNA of servicing kiranas.

One of India’s largest cash-and-carry businesses Best Price currently supports over 1.5 million members, including kiranas, hospitality, and catering businesses, and other MSMEs, and has long-standing supplier diversity and development programs built over its more than 12 years of operation. And Flipkart Wholesale will continue Best Price’s legacy of developing technology tools and ecosystem partnerships to help Indian commerce unlock its potential.

Top Indian brands like local manufacturers and sellers have partnered with Flipkart Wholesale to ensure the availability of an exhaustive range of products and merchandise for kiranas and MSMEs. And at the same time, partners will benefit from broader reach across the country, micro-market insights to enable effective inventory planning and new product development and cost-effective distribution. Flipkart Wholesale will launch its operations in August 2020 and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion categories. It will be headed by Adarsh Menon, a veteran at Flipkart. Sameer Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer at Walmart India, will remain with the company to ensure a smooth transition, after which time he will move to another role within Walmart.

Flipkart Wholesale will launch its operations in August 2020 and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion categories. And it will be headed by Adarsh Menon, a veteran at Flipkart. Sameer Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer at Walmart India, will remain with the company to ensure a smooth transition after which time he will move to another role within Walmart.

And with the acquisition of the Walmart India business, its employees will join the Flipkart Group and the home office teams will integrate over the next year. The Best Price brand will continue to serve its 1.5 million members via its omnichannel network of 28 stores and e-commerce operations.

KEY QUOTES:

“As the e-commerce pioneer in India, the Flipkart Group has transformed the shopping experience for millions of Indian consumers. With the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, we will now extend our capabilities across technology, logistics and finance to small businesses across the country. The acquisition of Walmart India adds a strong talent pool with deep expertise in the wholesale business that will strengthen our position to address the needs of kiranas and MSMEs uniquely. With this development, the Flipkart Group will further build upon the synergies across its businesses to drive greater value and choice for end-consumers and businesses alike.”

— Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer at Flipkart Group

“For over a decade, we’ve been committed to India’s prosperity by serving kiranas and MSMEs, supporting smallholder farmers and building global sourcing and technology hubs throughout the country. Today marks the next big step as Walmart India’s pioneering cash-and-carry legacy meets Flipkart’s culture of innovation in the launch of Flipkart Wholesale. By leveraging each other’s strengths and unique expertise, this combined team will break new ground in their shared mission to help Indian businesses grow and succeed. We look forward to a bright future for Flipkart Wholesale.”

— Judith McKenna, President and Chief Executive Officer at Walmart International

“Flipkart Wholesale will further deepen and build on Walmart India and the Flipkart Group’s commitment to kiranas and MSMEs over the last several years. Thousands of kiranas have already partnered with Flipkart to enhance their business and income streams. I am excited to be part of this new initiative that allows us to expand opportunities for growth for them and bring further prosperity to their lives. We will leverage the synergies between Flipkart and Walmart India as we stay focused on transforming the wholesale experience for kiranas and MSMEs.”

— Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head, Flipkart Wholesale

“This move recognizes the critical role that kiranas and MSMEs play in India’s economic prosperity and growth. The coming together of Walmart India with Flipkart Wholesale will provide an opportunity to build upon the more than 12-year legacy of the Best Price brand serving kiranas across India.”

— Sameer Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer at Walmart India