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2014-05-07

Flipkart seeks to expand SME seller base in India

Aiming to cash-in on the growing Internet penetration and maturing online userbase in India, homegrown online marketplace giant Flipkart has embarked on an ambitious programme to help sellers enhance service offerings as well as expand its reach across the country.

Aiming to cash-in on the growing Internet penetration and maturing online userbase in India, homegrown online marketplace giant Flipkart has embarked on an ambitious programme to help sellers enhance service offerings as well as expand its reach across the country.

 

The Bangalore-based company seeks to utilise the small and medium enterprise (SME) space in the country to expand its seller base to 12,000 covering 30 cities in less than a year.

 

The firm has roped in third-party partners to train its existing sellers and those coming on-board on how to enhance the quality of their catalogues, packaging and other services for product quality and better customer satisfaction. 

 

"We have about 3,000 sellers on our platform selling across various categories from 15 cities. The idea behind this is that there are lot of entrepreneurs (small and medium), who have a very rich catalogue and expertise at building great products," Flipkart VP (Marketplace) Ankit Nagori said.

 

These sellers often have a have limited footfall and geographical presence and Flipkart gives them a reach of millions, which is a win-win situation for all -- Flipkart, sellers and the consumers, he added. 

 

"We are expanding our base and the idea is to scale this to close to 12,000 and reach 30 cities by March 2015," Nagori said. 

 

When asked about how the e-commerce major ensures quality of products and reliability of services, he said the firm has a small on-boarding procedure. 

 

"We have a small team that checks the process of sellers, their capability to do single shipment orders and we also do a major check on the kind of product they have. 

 

"We have a very stringent policy and we are trying to develop a technology product that checks sale of fakes and rip-offs, duplicates and second hand products," he added. 

 

In case in cases where the sellers are able to escape the mechanism, we take-off their products based on the feedback from customer, he said. 

 

On service enhancement, Nagori said Flipkart has roped in third-party partners who offer better cataloguing and packaging services.

 

Besides, the company is also training its existing sellers and those who are joining its base on how to enhance their services like cataloguing, packaging and delivery. 

 

"Our thrust is not just on expanding our seller base but also on helping our sellers increase their potential and ability," Nagori said.

 

Flipkart is also in talks with trade bodies to develop an ambitious programme to reach sellers across the country and encourage them to sell their products online. 

 

Flipkart, which employs over 10,000 people, has about 18 million registered users with around 3.5 million daily visits.

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