Flipkart, the e-commerce marketplace, has opened a 1.2 lakh sq ft fulfillment centre for grocery services in Coimbatore, to meet the growing demand for groceries online.
The opening of this facility will bolster Flipkart’s supply chain in the South and is expected to generate direct employment for nearly 1,200 people.
“In the initial stages, only a part of the facility will be utilised for which over 500 people will be hired. It will be the only facility for Flipkart which will be almost entirely run by women constituting 90% of the overall workforce, ” the company said.
This will be Flipkart’s second grocery facility in Tamil Nadu after Chennai and ninth in the South. The sustained growth in Flipkart’s grocery business is also giving a boost to the local food processing industry, supporting Indian agriculture and small and medium farmers.
To enable more women to join the workforce, Flipkart under its initiative Vividhta, provides workplace policies that support women and their career progression. Flipkart has set up a creche facility at the centre and will offer transportation and meals to all its employees to enable them to work effectively.
Neeraj Mittal, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Tamil Nadu said, “Flipkart’s newly opened facility in Coimbatore will drive economic growth for the local ecosystem while digitally upskilling the employees. The IT department will continue to provide support to emerging IT based businesses and create conductive policies for their growth.”
Flipkart has also introduced multiple language access for consumers, to provide a native language experience. Interestingly, over 52% of Flipkart consumers are from tier-II and beyond cities.
Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice- President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart said, “Grocery is among the fastest growing categories within e-commerce and as the country’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, we are at the forefront of meeting customers’ essential requirements at their doorsteps in a safe and hygienic manner“.
Smrithi Ravichandran, Vice President – Grocery, Flipkart said, “Customer consumption patterns have greatly evolved over the years with the pandemic accelerating this shift towards organised channels of sourcing essentials, especially e-commerce. As a homegrown e- commerce marketplace, Flipkart has leveraged its partnership on-ground and is working with its marketplace sellers, MSMEs and brand partners, to ensure timely availability of essential products for consumers.”
Flipkart has 8 Fulfilment Centres in Tamil Nadu, with a total area spread across 1.5 million square feet and nearly 150 delivery hubs. The Flipkart group has created over 52,000 direct employment in the state.
Over the past few years, the South region has emerged as one of the fastest-growing regions for e-commerce across the country, with lakhs of new customers, sellers and kirana partners taking to e-commerce to meet their requirements while making use of the entrepreneurship opportunities it offers.
The demand for warehousing is expected to grow around 160% to reach 35 million sq ft in 2021 driven by e-commerce and 3PL, if the external conditions stay stable, mainly if there is no relapse of Covid-19 or a lockdown, per the ‘India Real Estate Outlook – A new growth cycle’ by JLL.