Flipkart, one of India’s largest ecommerce companies, acquired 100% in Wal-Mart India Private Limited, which operates the wholesale cash-and-carry business. Incidentally, Flipkart itself is majority owned by the Wal-Mart group of the US. The idea is to use the strong wholesale capabilities and make a big foray into the Kirana and MSME space.

It also simultaneously launched the Flipkart Wholesale, a digital marketplace to help transform the Kirana retail ecosystem in India with the help of technology. It may be recollected that Reliance had started the foray into this micro retail space and Amazon has already followed suit. That is a big slice that every ecommerce player is looking to address.

For Flipkart, the acquisition of Wal-Mart India will help procure a solid talent pool with expertise in the wholesale business. Just in 2018, Wal-Mart had invested $16 billion for a majority stake in Flipkart, which is currently valued at closer to $25 billion. Flipkart Wholesale will launch operations in August 2020.

The plan is that the small businesses would get attractive incentives as well as data-driven recommendations for stock selection, delivered through a fast and reliable network. In addition, Kirana and MSMEs will also gain from easy credit options. This will also give them opportunities for new income generation, a welcome change post COVID-19.