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‘Fashion, grocery are next frontiers’, says Kalyan Krishnamurthy

In an interview, Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy spoke about his company’s planned public share sale, fashion and grocery business, and synergies with Aditya Birla Fashion.

Updated: Oct 28, 2020, 06:06 IST

By Tarush Bhalla and Madhurima Nandy, Hindustan Times Bengaluru

Flipkart, on the other end, has an online reach and is a technology-driven platform with consumer insight

The Flipkart group has recently made a flurry of investments, including in fresh produce startup Ninjacart, logistics firm Shadowfax, Arvind Youth Brands and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. With JioMart preparing an e-commerce onslaught, both Amazon and Flipkart are ramping up offline partnerships. In an interview, Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy spoke about his company’s planned public share sale, fashion and grocery business, and synergies with Aditya Birla Fashion. Edited excerpts:

What kind of synergy will Flipkart explore with deals like Arvind and Aditya Birla Fashion?

We have made five investments recently, including Arvind Youth Brands and Aditya Birla Fashion. Aditya Birla Fashion has an admirable streak at building fashion brands and owns a deep footprint of offline stores. Flipkart, on the other end, has an online reach and is a technology-driven platform with consumer insight. Hence, one of the several synergies can be co-creating fashion brands basis market and consumer intelligence, as our complementary skill sets can bring the right styles and selection to consumers. We can also explore synergies where our brands are present at their multi-brand stores. The lines between modern retail (includes large format stores) and e-commerce is blurring only further.

What are the next growth frontiers for Flipkart?

Over the last six months, we have not dictated the growth drivers but followed them. As a result, today, the biggest growth is registered in segments like consumer electronics, work-from-home essentials, online content consumption due to the pandemic. But, 80-90% of India’s retail economy is made up of grocery and fashion. These categories are the most under-penetrated from an e-commerce standpoint. For Indian e-commerce penetration to grow and reach $100 billion by 2024, these two categories will play a big role. We see ourselves investing more in these categories.

With the Flipkart-Amazon e-commerce duopoly, is there space for a third large entrant like Reliance Jio?

We believe the monthly active user base of India’s internet ecosystem is roughly around 450 million. Not more than 10% of this actively shops on e-commerce on a monthly basis. When a new player enters with a strong value proposition, the market expands.

For full interview, go to livemint.com

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