Walmart-owned Flipkart on Wednesday said it has set up a new fulfilment centre (warehouse) in West Bengal, its second-largest in the state, that will help in creating nearly 3,500 direct jobs. Spread across an area of over 2.2 lakh sq ft, the new facility in Dankuni will cater to the needs of Flipkart and Myntra customers in the region and bolster the e-commerce major’s efforts to ramps up supply chain infrastructure in the eastern part of the country.
The facility will also help thousands of sellers offer a wider selection and enable faster deliveries of customer orders within the region and neighbouring states while also helping create national market access, according to a statement.
Unlike traditional warehouses, fulfilment centres are equipped with highly automated pick, pack and shipping processes to facilitate safe and timely processing of orders.
“The new fulfilment centre (FC) will augment Flipkart’s capabilities to cater to more consumers, including millions of first-time e-commerce users in the East.
“With the addition of this new facility in Dankuni, Flipkart now has more than 10 lakh sq ft of warehousing space in the state alone and employs over 50,000 people across all these facilities,” the statement said.
This is in addition to lakhs of square feet of warehousing assets from partner brands and engagement with over 9,300 Kirana delivery partners and 10,000 sellers from the region.
Over 52 per cent of Flipkart’s consumers are from tier-II and beyond cities.
West Bengal Secretary Industry Commerce and Enterprises Vandana Yadav said, “We are committed to the growth of the region and the businesses here by creating conducive policies and providing all possible support for their growth.”
She added that Flipkart’s continued investment in the state is a testament to the enabling environment the state has helped create not just job opportunities but the safe way of deliveries for the consumers.
Flipkart Senior Vice-President (Supply Chain) Hemant Badri said the company is strengthening its supply chain presence in West Bengal, and the latest expansion will help support small and medium businesses from the state while creating thousands of employment opportunities.
“E-commerce has helped serve citizens with a safe and sanitised supply chain and we will continue to serve the ecosystem including lakhs of sellers, MSMEs, kirana partners, millions of consumers and thousands of brands that we work with,” he added.
Flipkart has seven FCs in West Bengal, with a total area spread across 10 lakh sq ft and 152 delivery hubs. The state has the 10th largest seller base with 10,000 sellers.
E-commerce has seen strong growth in the country amid the pandemic as containment measures introduced millions to the convenience of online shopping, and prompted seasoned online shoppers to buy more.
Social distancing compulsions, massive smartphone base and reliable broadband have galvanised e-commerce uptake beyond metros, deep into smaller cities and towns.
E-commerce platforms are ramping up capacities and hiring to cater to the growth in order volumes.
Flipkart is reportedly in talks with various investors, including SoftBank and ADQ, for raising about USD 3 billion funding, a transaction that could value the e-commerce giant at USD 35-40 billion.