Flipkart to sell Reliance Jio LYF phones

The logo of India's largest online marketplace Flipkart is seen on a building in Bengaluru, India, April 22, 2015. After losing top engineering talent for years to America's tech heartland of Silicon Valley, India is luring them back as an e-commerce boom sparks a thriving start-up culture, unprecedented pay, and perks including free healthcare for in-laws. Picture taken April 22, 2015. To match INDIA-ECOMMERCE/WORKERS. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa - RTX1BBUK

Mumbai: Flipkart.com said on Friday that it has exclusively partnered with Reliance Jio Infocomm to sell two mobile handsets of from its LYF line—WIND 3 and FLAME 8— a move that could help India’s largest e-commerce platform strengthen its star category—smartphones.

The news comes in at a time when Flipkart is striving hard to meet its ambitious targets of achieving monthly gross sales of Rs.3,700-3,800 crore by expanding sales of smartphones, large appliances and fashion.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has already captured substantial market share through the sale of its LYF phone devices even before it has launches its operations commercially, Mint reported in June.

According to a 17 June report by Cyber Media Research and Services Ltd, LYF was India’s third largest selling mobile phone brand in the March quarter with a 12.6% market share, behind Samsung and Lenovo.

Until now Lyf sold devices—Flame, Earth, Water and Wind, in the price bracket of Rs.5,490 to Rs.19,999 through various offline and online channels.

The new devices however will be made available exclusively on Flipkart.

“Flipkart, the largest seller of smartphones in India currently leads the 4G adoption with about 60% share of LTE (4G enabled) devices sold in the country. Further, the company’s partnership with Reliance is a validation of the brand’s commitment to drive the 4G acceptance in India.” said Ajay Yadav, Vice President – Mobiles, Flipkart, in a statement.

Earlier on August 9th, Mint reported that Flipkart’s two key product categories of mobile phones and large appliances, which together contribute more than half of its sales, have reduced. Given this partnership with Reliance LYF, it can be viewed as a step forward to revive the company’s star category.

Additionally, the company aims to achieve three key targets by September. They include generating monthly gross sales of Rs.3,700-3,800 crore by expanding sales of smartphones, large appliances and fashion; achieving a net promoter score (NPS), a key metric of customer satisfaction, of 55 partly by improving the speed and consistency of product deliveries and improving its product returns management and breaking even at the gross profit level by cutting staff costs, discounts and other expenses.

Separately, Flipkart has also set a broader goal of generating Rs.6,000 crore in monthly sales by March.

Achieving these targets will flow into strengthening Flipkart’s valuation to raise its next round of funds.