Changing the way products are being funneled to the end customers, Flipkart.com is fast becoming a favored destination for global brands such as Motorola and now Alcatel Onetouch to exclusively launch their products on the online eCommerce platform. TelecomDrive.com speaks with Michael Adnani, Vice President – Retail and Head of Brand Relations, Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd about the intricacies involved in this trade and the company’s plans for India.
Flipkart.com has already partnered with Motorola and now it is partnering with Alcatel Onetouch. What is the biggest value that Flipkart.com is delivering to these global brands?
The biggest value that we are delivering to these brands comes from the fact that we are taking the complete brand message and delivering it to the customer without making any change. So customers get the exact brand image and positioning that these global brands want.
In addition to this, we are reaching out to more than 400 cities in India and we are doing it by literally, just a click of a button.
There are many traditional telecom channel partners who feel that online eCommerce is competing with them and taking away their market share?
No, I don’t think like this. We are complimenting the effort of these global brands and there is huge space for both these channel ecosystem to co-exist. We have to understand that, with advances in technology and more importantly, the availability of technology coming to the hands of end customers, the way business is being done is also changing fast and that is why we are becoming a formidable channel to reach out to the end customers. But, I don’t think that we are going to replace the brick and mortar channel partners in any way. We are surely going to co-exist in the market.
Is Flipkart.com is involved in bulk selling of products?
This is a big ‘no’ for us. We are not involved in any bulk selling at all. We always promote fair trade practices and we are a completely end customer focused entity, why would any customer want to buy 10 smartphones when he needs only one or may be two? So, we do monitor our sales very closely and make sure that there is no kind of bulk buying happening from the site.
How big is your reach and what are your plans to expand your presence in India?
We are reaching out to more than 400 cities in India. We are in a contact stage of flux and are always looking to expand our operations, where we don’t have our presence. Today we have more than 18 million registered customers and we get about 3 million visits per day.
All this is happening because today people have connectivity and with us, they are getting a great online buying experience. Online commerce is really happening in a big way.
Where is the big growth likely to come from?
I cannot talk about any numbers but there is a huge potential for growth in India, especially from small locations where people are ready to get a better online buying experience at their own pace and easy.
How do you prepare for a big product launch like the one likely to happen with Alcatel Onetouch? What precautions do you undertake from an IT infrastructure standpoint?
Yes, it is becoming very important for us to ‘right scale’ our IT infrastructure and make it more agile to our business needs. So when we have a big launch, we do this predictive analysis of our customer situation and predict on how many people are going to buy it from our site, based on this data we then balance our inventory. Most of the times we are getting this in control, but there are times when the product demand is multiplied many times. And at times, this is a challenge for us.
How many people work with Flipkart.com today? Is there any expansion being planned on this front?
Today, there are more than 10,000 people working with us. This is the overall number of people associated with us and not entirely our own workers. As far as the reach is concerned, we are going stronger day by day.
Buying a product is just a one step towards the making the complete journey of a product buying experience. What about the after sales and support of the products that you are involved with?
This is really very important for us and we take customer support very seriously. We have a 24×7 call center in Bangalore that takes care of our customer support issues and today, we are available on social media, chat, email and phone. People can use any one of these media to get in touch with us.