Walmart-owned e-commerce firm Flipkart has launched its grocery services in Coimbatore with the opening of its first fulfilment center in the region to meet the growing demand for groceries online. The opening of this facility also bolsters Flipkart’s supply chain in the South and will create thousands of direct and indirect employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Spread across an area of over 120,000 square feet, the newly built facility will generate direct employment for nearly 1,200 people while encouraging local entrepreneurship. In the initial stages, only a part of the facility will be utilised for which over 500 people will be hired. It will be the only facility for Flipkart which will be almost entirely run by women constituting 90 per cent of the overall workforce. To enable more women to join the workforce, Flipkart under its initiative Vividhta, provides workplace policies that support women and their career progression. Flipkart has set up a creche facility at the centre and will offer transportation and meals to all its employees to enable them to work effectively.
“Grocery is among the fastest-growing categories within e-commerce and as the country’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, we are at the forefront of meeting customers’ essential requirements at their doorsteps in a safe and hygienic manner,” said Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice-President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart.
The new fulfilment centre (FC) will further augment Flipkart’s capabilities to cater to more consumers, including millions of first-time e-commerce consumers from the South region. Flipkart has also introduced multiple language access for consumers, to provide a native language experience. Interestingly, over 52 per cent of Flipkart consumers are from tier-II and beyond cities, a testament to the growing adoption of e-commerce services.
This will be Flipkart’s second grocery facility in Tamil Nadu after Chennai and ninth in the South. This sustained growth in Flipkart’s grocery business is also giving a boost to the local food processing industry, supporting Indian agriculture and small and medium farmers.
“Flipkart’s newly opened facility in Coimbatore will drive economic growth for the local ecosystem while digitally upskilling the employees,” said Neeraj Mittal, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Tamil Nadu. “The IT department will continue to provide support to emerging IT based businesses and create conductive policies for their growth.”
Flipkart said it is looking to increase diversity across its supply chain to make it more inclusive. Several of its large warehouses across the country have their end-to-end operations for a particular shift entirely run by women. Its sortation centre in Chennai, in particular, proudly runs its Vividhata hubs where groups of women take care of millions of shipments, contributing to a seamless e-commerce experience for customers.
Kumar of Flipkart said that Coimbatore, while being an economic centre also offers a strategic location to serve nearby regions efficiently and the opening of the firm’s first grocery warehouse in the city serves as a testament to that. He said it has also been possible with the constant support of the state government and its conducive policies which will help generate more job opportunities while ensuring safe delivery of essentials for consumers. “This will also significantly boost sourcing opportunities for small and medium farmers in the State in addition to supporting the food processing sector,” said Kumar.
Smrithi Ravichandran, Vice President-Grocery, Flipkart, said that customer consumption patterns have greatly evolved over the years with the pandemic accelerating this shift towards organised channels of sourcing essentials, especially e-commerce.
“Flipkart has played a pivotal role in bringing the convenience of online commerce to the doorstep of customers across the country with tier-2 towns taking the lead,” said Ravichandran. “We are elated to launch our grocery services in Coimbatore in the next few weeks with the opening of our first fulfilment centre which will cater to the essential needs of customers from the region,” said Ravichandran. “Flipkart has leveraged its partnership on-ground and is working with its marketplace sellers, MSMEs and brand partners, to ensure timely availability of essential products for consumers.”
Flipkart has 8 Fulfilment Centres in Tamil Nadu, with a total area spread across 1.5 million square feet. and nearly 150 delivery hubs. The Flipkart group has created over 52,000 direct employment in the state. The firm also has its state-of-the-art data center in Chennai to support its robust e-commerce operations.
Over the past few years, the South region has emerged as one of the fastest-growing regions for e-commerce across the country, with lakhs of new customers, sellers and kirana partners taking to e-commerce to meet their requirements while making use of the entrepreneurship opportunities it offers. Flipkart said it is making e-commerce more inclusive for customers, with the Flipkart app now available in as many as 11 Indian languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Business Standard