Plus, Flipkart likely has a lot of expertise in mobile as well, given how much of India's internet usage is now mobile-only.
I reckon that expertise is worth a lot for any company looking to expand in the developing world
I don't think this is true.
You have to enter a pin code when you order from Flipkart. It's used to compute the delivery fee.
Flipkart also used to refuse to deliver products to some pincodes though the list of supported numbers has definitely expanded over the years.
In short, I don't know what their coverage level is, but it boils down to: you can't get a package delivered to anywhere where there is no post office.
It's fine for India, but I don't think a lot of the business models and know-how that works in India transfers easily to conditions in the U.S.
KFC/pizza hut/dominoes don't set up shop in remote places 'without infrastructure'. It doesn't make "business sense".
They are mostly limited to cities. They don't deliver long distances, food delivery in general is limited to 2km, and they certainly don't deliver without a name, contact number and delivery address.
'They' here means the transportation, not the marketplace. It comes down to the transportation to make sense of improper addresses and provide wide coverage.
Also, Ekart has a very limited serviceability and flipkart has to rely on third party logistics.
Because the obvious comparison would be Amazon, Walmart's chief competitor, and I don't know how they could match that seeing how they don't have anywhere near the kind of expertise, experience, and investment that Amazon had for over two decades.
To me, it actually makes perfect sense for them to buy an Indian firm to become their tech lab. They don't have the knowledge or resources to even enter the field to compete for talent to build up their tech in the US - let alone win it.
So, i'm not sure if one example can be generalized. Untill then, they keep in my rss list though :)
The article is not praiseworthy enough to be a PR plant, and it lacks any substance from insiders. Seems to be tea leaf reading more than anything.
I'd also add that the acquisition cost of Flipkart was largely driven by direct competition with Amazon during the bidding process.
Now if only we could just stop treating Walmart like an old lady who needs hand holding when doing technology and see their acquisitions as more than acquihires and more as investments...
So par-the-course for "internet journalism".
1. Not lose, arguably, the second most important market in the world
2. Bring some of that web/app first executives in the fold and apply it in other markets like US or Europe. India is one of the few markets where a tiny company is still head-to-head with Amazon
Walmart has money. They just don't want their old execs to run the e-commerce show.
Are you an insider? Where have you heard that Walmart was unable to use any of the jet.com technology?
Not entirely true, but not entirely untrue either. In my opinion, lots of Jet tech was more stable, featureful, and performant than what Walmart had to offer. But in many cases, politics prevented them from taking full advantage of Jet's tech.
In my experience, Walmart tech was very resistant to letting Jet run services that the Walmart website had to rely on (not in all cases; pretty sure Walmart is using Jet's inventory system: good presentation on it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSCzCaiWgLM). I think there was a feeling like we were encroaching on their territory. Think about it: Walmart buys Jet, Marc Lore is made head of Walmart eCommerce, layoffs happen on the Walmart side shortly thereafter. Not exactly something that will foster warm fuzzies.
Walmart also gets WAY more traffic than Jet, and I think there was a little bit of dismissiveness caused by that too. A sense of, "We are the big fish, we are not doing anything wrong, and we are just going to keep on doing what we're doing."
I'm sure there were other areas of close collaboration, but I didn't see too many of them. I haven't worked there for five or six months, so things may have changed, but that's how it was from my perspective.
I did love working there though, was a very transformative time for me as a technologist.
In what universe is Flipkart a tiny company? Sure, it's small compared to Amazon but that's because Amazon is a global behemoth.
I know a lot them are in limbo and already looking for better things.
Digging further, what business decisions got them into this mess? Will FK help them address their lack of vision or clarity around the new digital world?
I feel like many businesses look to some hot new tech solution for what are fundamentally pure business problems.
Akka, PWA and Tensorflow will not save Walmart from Amazon, if that is indeed the plan.
Anyone can buy talented engineers, but can you use them?
Flipkart is head-on competition with amazon in India. And Walmart want to do the same in US. So what is your confusion? Wallmart can definitely apply the tech from FK to US market.
"Apply tech to the US market" is really just part of a larger problem. It's like moving to AWS and assuming your velocity will speed up because "cloud things".
If Walmart has a vision and innovation problem, I doubt the hot new shiny is going to change that in the long term. Many companies adopt some new tech hoping it will save them, not realizing the real problems lie elsewhere.
On the vendor side, we get bashed by managers that are reading reports that are over a day old, delivered by email. They run quite a bit of stuff on IBM hardware still, which tells me they have a lot of legacy systems running.
And they try to outsource EVERYTHING. EDI, order tracking/acknowledgement, their web portal is a clusterf--- that was IE only up until a short while ago.