Flipkart, Myntra kickstart pilots with Leap accelerator start-ups

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on February 25, 2021

Naren Ravula, V-P and Head of Product Strategy and Deployment, Flipkart

To increase focus on fashion, grocery categories

In line with its increasing focus on fashion and grocery categories, as it looks to onboard the next 200 million customers, Flipkart and group company Myntra have started piloting solutions with some of the first cohort of 8 start-ups that are part of the Flipkart Leap accelerator programme.

“Two start-ups from our first cohort which are in the supply chain space —Unbox Robotics and Tagbox Solutions — will benefit not just the fashion and grocery categories on our marketplace but all the other categories as well. We are in the process of enabling pilots with both Unbox and Tagbox. While we could be enabling sellers on our marketplace with solutions from these start-ups, Flipkart could potentially be a big signature customer for these start-ups, which in turn would empower them to expand and scale their businesses,” said Naren Ravula, V-P and Head of Product Strategy and Deployment, Flipkart.

Plug and play

Unbox builds a plug and play system of AI-powered mobile robots that sort packages in vertical spaces and improve personnel productivity fivefold in less than 50-70 per cent of the area required by existing methods. The start-up has already onboarded some of the leading logistics and e-commerce players in India and overseas. Tagbox provides supply chain monitoring solutions using IoT, ML and AI to help organisations solve problems related to product quality and compliance, traceability and operational efficiency. It provides services to F&B, pharma, hi-tech/industrial companies.

“The interesting thing about Unbox is, its a company started by ex-Flipkart product managers from our supply chain team. So we were very excited to see that they have started this company and reached a level of scale where we could support them through Flipkart Leap” said Ravula.

AI company

He said, Myntra, a Flipkart Group company, is currently evaluating Entropik Tech, another start-up from the first cohort, as a potential customer. An emotion AI company, Entropik has patented technologies that help brands measure the cognitive and emotional response of consumers towards product experiences, media campaigns and brand content, thereby unlocking consumer behavioural insights for brands to deliver superlative experiences.

“I think Adtech and understanding customers on our platform are really key for us. All the digital e-commerce companies try to understand their customers to be able to cater to their needs and personalise their experiences. Entropik offers a set of solutions that can potentially help there. We are piloting that product and could potentially be their future customer,” Ravula told BusinessLine.

Asked which of the 8 start-ups will help to build on the fashion and grocery categories to deliver a better consumer experience, he said Fashinza, a managed marketplace, allows fashion brands across the world to access manufacturing capacity on-demand and assists them from design to delivery. Gully Network, a tech-enabled retail network for mid-size grocery stores not only digitises Kirana stores but also transforms them into GULLYMART franchise stores with a view to improve income and enable end-to-end automation.

“We are no longer just a B2C company, we are a B2B company as well since we have integrated the Walmart India business last year. Therefore, while it is important for us to satisfy and delight our customers it is also important for us to make sure that small and medium businesses, including kiranas, who are also customers of Flipkart Wholesale, our new digital marketplace, are successful in this country, because we are now a B2B company as well,” said Ravula.

Published on February 25, 2021

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