Walmart-owned e-commerce marketplace, Flipkart and Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) have joined hands to enable access to essential food and beverage products to Indian consumers.
As a part of this, distributors of TCPL will list themselves on Flipkart as marketplace sellers, allowing consumers to buy different combo packs of essential products such as beverages (Tata Tea and coffee) and food items (Tata Sampann spices, pulses, and Nutri mixes) offered by the FMCG company.
Leveraging their combined strengths to create a unique distribution model, the partnership aims to solve Indian consumers’ need for access to essential commodities as they stay indoors and practise social distancing.
“The synergies and capabilities of both Tata Consumer and Flipkart are complementary and we are proud to enable an alternate business channel built on our marketplace model to deliver great value to consumers in these times of crisis,” said CEO of Flipkart Group Kalyan Krishnamurthy.
“With the support of the government and local authorities, we are able to innovate unique distribution and supply chain models that enable us to serve communities in India,” added Krishnamurthy.
Distributors of Tata Consumer Company once listed online with Flipkart Marketplace has to undergo the Flipkart training for packaging and order fulfilment and process orders as per the standard operating procedures set by the e-commerce firm.
Flipkart’s marketplace supply chain fulfil the orders by picking up these combinations from Tata Consumer’s distributors and delivering those to customers using its network of delivery executives.
“Tata Consumer Products is committed to ensuring availability of our beverage and food brands to consumers across India, during this difficult time,” said Tata Consumer Products MD and CEO Sunil D’Souza.
“This partnership with Flipkart provides an innovative way to set up a strong alternate distribution channel through its wide network,” added D’Souza.
The partnership is already operational in Bengaluru, and both companies plan to expand it to Mumbai and Delhi in the coming week and tier II towns in the future.
The product combinations have been curated keeping in mind specific needs of Indian consumers, while also offering them significant cost benefits.
E-commerce companies are exploring unique models to ensure business continuity amid the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection.
Last week, Flipkart had announced a pilot programme with retail chain store Spencers to introduce hyperlocal deliveries of groceries and essentials in Hyderabad.
Earlier, BigBasket partnered with Uber to help in delivery of essential items, while Grofers said it had hired about 2,000 people from industries that have been deeply impacted by the current crisis.
After the 21-day lockdown was imposed on March 24, e-commerce companies had struggled to deliver orders.
Although the government allowed delivery of essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce platforms, players faced hiccups initially. The surge in orders also disrupted operations for these companies.
However, players have now started resuming operations across various cities, clearing pending orders before accepting new ones.