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09 Jun 2017

Flipkart eyes new avenues, entry in Fintech, more tech hires

Flipkart is gearing up for its next adventure

India's home-grown e-commerce platform Flipkart is looking forward to taking the next big leap; the firm is poised to include new categories such as furniture and groceries in its foray.

It is also taking initial steps to get into the Fintech sector and has hired gray matter from Silicon Valley to help it get into AI and machine learning.

Here's all about it.

In context

Flipkart is gearing up for its next adventure
Addressing demand in small cities and towns


Addressing demand in small cities and towns

Flipkart CTO Ravi Garikipati said to Mint that their push to get into Fintech is still in nascent stages and the e-commerce giant will bank on it to attract customers present in tier II and tier III cities. An executive will also be hired exclusively for this project.

The concerned regions have substantial demands for products but seldom go online to acquire it.


What will it focus on

Garikipati said that offline retail is still thriving by banking on big-ticket items since they have a better grasp on the consumers when it comes to accessing their risk profiles and allocating low-cost EMIs giving them access to products, which would require bulk payment online.

Flipkart aims to do the same, only better and bring those consumers online to boost their sales.

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A distinctive edge


A distinctive edge

Flipkart believes that its access to commerce data coupled with third-party financial data will help them in creating a unique credit scoring model to aid their cause in this sector, helping them to expand their consumer base.

If it successfully manages to cover this ground, it would also help the firm to leave behind Amazon which is its biggest competitor.


More hires in technology department

Flipkart will also increase the headcount of its technology team by 10% this year. It would seek out talents in computer vision, image sciences and those with extended expertise on natural language processing (NLP).

It also believes that the next wave of discovery is multi-modal in nature, and speech will be an integral part of it and it will focus on the same.

Making smart choices


Making smart choices

It is also letting go of some of its earlier initiatives, as it no longer sees a sustainable business opportunity in them. Chief among those is assisted commerce, which was primarily aimed at regions where e-commerce has not yet fully penetrated and access to the internet was still primitive in nature.

It will now take a backseat, as Flipkart pursues its new priorities.


No more hasty calls

Now the idea is to bolster the basics and not having a rerun of the mistakes that the e-commerce giant made in 2015; echoing Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy's policy of taking note of hiccups and fixing them instead of banking on something that may reap benefits in future, said reports.

The firm is aggressively pushing ahead but has its feet on the ground.

Bolstering tech efforts in home base


Bolstering tech efforts in home base

It is also shuffling some of its technology roles in Bengaluru from F7 Labs, its technology lab based in the Silicon Valley, to keep its hiring costs under check.

Garikipati said that, although, F7 Labs is making strides in AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning), Flipkart is also investing in nurturing the potential in its home base, forming a sustainable balance.

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