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Flipkart merges tech and product ops of travel and epharmacy biz, ET Retail

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Walmart-owned Flipkart has merged key technology and product roles in its new businesses of Cleartrip (travel) and Flipkart Health Plus (epharmacy) into the core commerce team to streamline operations, multiple people aware of the matter said. These changes have come into effect over the past few weeks, they added.

The integration has come ahead of Flipkart’s flagship festive season sale of BigBillionDays, which may kick off on October 7 or 8 – two to three days ahead of rival Amazon’s festive sale that is set to start on October 10, these people said. Flipkart has, however, yet to finalise the dates.

Cleartrip and online pharmacy, which it started in 2021, are among the faster growing new businesses for the Bengaluru-based etailer. “Essentially, they (Flipkart) want to have a linear structure across these businesses, and tech, product and supply chain are being managed at the group level,” a person aware of the matter said.

This person said Flipkart’s new tech initiatives with projects like shopping assistant, which uses generative AI and is named Flippi, are being implemented across the company’s businesses including Cleartrip.An email sent to Flipkart seeking comment did not elicit any response till press time Wednesday.

ET reported on July 7 that Prashant Jhaveri was moving on from the role of CEO of Flipkart’s epharmacy business. The company named internal executive Kanchan Mishra to head the vertical, as its chief business officer.

Ayyappan R is heading the Cleartrip business.

“Cleartrip, especially, among the new businesses from Flipkart has been growing at a fast pace trying to corner market share from incumbents,” another person said.

Besides travel and epharmacy, Flipkart, over the past one year, launched new offerings like at-home services, similar to Urban Company. It recently launched Spoyl under its fashion business, targeting GenZ users.

Jeyandran Venugopal is the chief product and technology officer while Hemant Badri looks after the supply chain of Flipkart.

ET had reported on May 17 about a top-deck restructuring at the firm, led by group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy following the exit of Adarsh Menon, who was head of new businesses.

The re-commerce business has moved under Badri while the Shopsy org was moved under Amitesh Jha, and the Cleartrip to Ajay Veer Yadav. Jha and Ayyapan report to Yadav.

Festive season ahead

ET reported on September 27 that brands were expected to line up more discounts in the upcoming festive season sale across marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon India, Tata Neu and Reliance JioMart.

For Flipkart, BigBillionDays is a crucial sale event where it drives a significant chunk of its annual sales. Especially in 2023, the upcoming festive season sale would be important as the sector witnessed relatively slower-than-expected growth in the first six months of the year.

Online commerce saw volume growth of 24% in the second quarter of the year on a Y-o-Y basis, ET reported on July 11. The growth was led by high-value premium products while softness continued in mass-market segments, especially in fashion.

  • Published On Sep 28, 2023 at 08:48 AM IST

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