“Technology is at the centre of all that we do”: Flipkart
In an exclusive interview, Hemant Badri, Senior Vice President & Head of Supply Chain, Flipkart spoke about the Indian e-commerce ecosystem and how a technology-led supply chain is helping Flipkart connect a million sellers with over 450 million customers to deliver 100 million shipments each month
As one of India’s homegrown e-commerce players, Flipkart delivers every serviceable PIN code across the length and breadth of the country today. In an e-commerce ecosystem that is so vast and wide, ensuring seamless deliveries across all the PIN codes with an element of customer satisfaction is a feat in itself.
Today, the platform connects 11,00,000+ sellers to over 450 million customers located in different parts of the country and delivers more than 100 million shipments every month in an efficient manner. At the core of this ecosystem lies a robust supply chain that forms its backbone. Hemant Badri, Senior Vice President and Head of Supply Chain, Flipkart said, “Technology is at the centre of all that we do, whether you talk about automated guided vehicles, cross bed sorters, or robot-led automated packing machines. It is so integrated into our entire DNA that we use technology to create a differentiated solution at all levels,” he said.
“We have a very unique supply chain powered by technology and that is our differentiation. When you have such a large ecosystem running – we are delivering 100 million plus shipments per month, it has to run like music and it has to be extremely repeatable, consistent, and for that technology makes a huge differentiator for us,” he added.
From a logistics perspective, every vehicle at Flipkart has a Digi lock for security, every route is optimized and each vehicle is fitted with a GPS for round-the-clock monitoring. Beat planning at the entire last mile is optimized in order to minimize effort and improve reliability.
“Supply chain is very, very key and how you run that supply chain every day with great execution is at the centre of everything we do at Flipkart. We have expanded our fulfillment centres across the country and have added almost 35 percent more space across our facilities to cover a total area of 210 lakh square feet area today,” said Badri.
Seeing the changing trends in e-commerce, wherein demand has expanded beyond Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities to Tier 3 cities, Flipkart has expanded its reach in Tier 3 cities so that it can serve every possible PIN code in the country. The supply chain model which has now been created complements the entire ecosystem.
“We complement the kirana ecosystem. Flipkart has partnered with 2,00,000 kirana stores, which deliver about 1 million shipments every day. They know the entire neighborhood at a personal level and can drive greater customer delight because of this,” he further said.
Flipkart also drives inclusion and diversity as it has more than 10,000 women employees and more than 1,000 differently-abled employees who are working in the organization across different roles. The inclusion percolates to the supply chain, traditionally considered a male bastion.
“One of the key values at Flipkart is inclusion and we strongly believe that we need to have an inclusive and diverse culture across our facilities, which starts with leadership commitment. Some of our facilities are completely led by women and we have seen the transformational result in those places,” he said.
Talking about the future of e-commerce in India, he said: “It’s an exciting time. In India, many of the categories are still at only single-digit penetration. We believe that with data and internet penetration going up, we can look at the next 200 million consumers coming on the Flipkart platform, most of whom will come from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.”
Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of the brand by the HTBS team.