Flipkart expands grocery sales and starts voice search

Date : 05 March 2021

Francis Ramos

Senior Retail Analyst

Walmart-owned Flipkart will expand its online grocery operations to more cities in India, start voice search in English and Hindi, and make changes in its board of directors.  The online grocery market has grown rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this expansion allows it to compete with the likes of Alibaba-backed BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon and Reliance Industries’ JioMart.

Flipkart’s online grocery is now in 50 cities, and it will add over 70 more locations

Bengaluru-based Flipkart has already expanded its online grocery service to more than 50 big cities in India, including Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad.  As the retailer has seen increased demand for online grocery sales from smaller cities, it now intends to reach over 70 more locations in the next six months.  Manish Kumar, Senior Vice President at Flipkart, commented, “Grocery continues to be one of the fastest-growing categories.  Grocery is the next big frontier for online shopping and is a key focus area for Flipkart to bring new customers online.”

Source: Flipkart

Voice search in Hindi and English to bring in more shoppers

Flipkart’s voice search function is now getting five million queries a day.  With this capability, consumers can now discover and buy products using voice commands in multiple languages, starting with Hindi and English.  Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Flipkart, added “Voice search, along with some of the other initiatives by Flipkart, will make the digital commerce experience more convenient, accessible and seamless for the new wave of online shoppers.”

Changes in Flipkart’s board of directors

The company has also made changes in its executive board.  It has appointed former Unilever global executive Hemant Badri as its Senior Vice President for supply chain.  Hemant Badri has a proven record in delivering results, innovation, and thought leadership. He brings a wealth of expertise in varied domains such as strategy, operations, manufacturing and customer service. Flipkart is also reshuffling the roles of its other senior executives, including:

  • Amitesh Jha, who used to lead supply chain operations, has now been assigned a new role in category design operations (CDO) and marketing, merchandising and monetisation (M3).  With this development, Manish Kumar, Senior Vice President for grocery, furniture, home and general merchandise; Nandita Sinha, Vice President for customer and marketing charter; and Nishit Garg, Vice President for lifestyle will now report to Jha
  • Ranjith Boyanapalli, Senior Vice President for fintech and payments, will take on additional responsibilities in customer experience (CX), marketplace and the central liquidation team (CLT)
  • Flipkart’s board now also includes the following new directors:
    • Keki Mistry, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. (HDFC)
    • Walmart’s Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer Suresh Kumar
    • Leigh Hopkins, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development at Walmart International

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