Ekart to Exit Non-core Ops, Fo­cus on Ecomm

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Payal.Gan­guly@ times­group.com

Ben­galuru: On­line mar­ket­place Flip­kart is look­ing at con­sol­i­dat­ing busi­ness of its in-house sup­ply chain arm, Ekart Lo­gis­tics. The com­pany has sus­pended the cus­tomer-to-cus­tomer courier ser­vice within months of its launch. It has also pulled the plug on hy­per­local de­liv­ery ser­vices be­ing pi­loted across Ben­galuru since March 2016.

“Be­gin­ning Fe­bru­ary 5, Ekart no longer op­er­ates its cus­tomer-to-cus­tomer courier ser­vice started in May 2016, that gave peo­ple the op­tion of hav­ing doc­u­ments and parcels packed by Ekart’s de­liv­ery boys and shipped to end-ad­dresses,” the com­pany said in re­sponse to ET’s emailed queries.

The move is aimed at “con­sol­i­dat­ing the ser­vice of­fer­ings of Ekart, to sharpen its fo­cus on its core busi­ness model”, the com­pany said.

Ekart pro­cesses 30,000-40,000 or­ders a day for third-party busi­nesses excluding the vol­umes gen­er­ated by Flip­kart and Flip­kart-owned Myn­tra.

It will con­tinue its core e-com­merce of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing third-party lo­gis­tics ser­vices to e-com­merce play­ers such as Paytm and ShopClues. It will also con­tinue to pro­vide ware­hous­ing and ful­fil­ment fa­cil­i­ties to larger re­tail clients such as Madura Gar­ments. The changes come af­ter Ekart head Saiki­ran Kr­ish­na­murthy left the com­pany last month and Nitin Seth took over the role in ad­di­tion to his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer. The reshuf­fle in top man­age­ment has been linked to Tiger Global’s Kalyan Kr­ish­na­murthy tak­ing over as CEO of the com­pany to stream­line ex­penses.

In an in­ter­view to ET be­fore his exit on Jan­uary 5, Saiki­ran Kr­ish­na­murthy had in­di­cated that over the next two years half of Ekart’s busi­ness would come from pro­vid­ing ser­vices to third-party play­ers, who ac­count for only 10% of the busi­ness han­dled by the com­pany. The Ekart brand was ac­quired by Flip­kart un­der a com­pany called In­stakart Ser­vices in 2015 from WS re­tail, the pri­mary seller on the plat­form.

Co will con­tinue core e-com­merce of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing third-party lo­gis­tics ser­vices to play­ers such as Paytm and ShopClues

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