Thursday, 10 May 2018

Walmart - Flipkart deal: India's largest FDI investment

India's largest FDI investment

Walmart-Flipkart deal at $20.8 billion is largest FDI investment in India after Essar Oil stake sale to Rosneft - Trafigura at $12.9 billion.

India's leading e-commerce giant has been sold to America's leading e-commerce giant, Walmart. Walmart had been keen to enter India's booming demand-driven market. Some analyst thank the change in government policy. Just a month back, the cabinet approved 100% FDI in Single brand retail. Walmart has been thinking of India as its next market since then. The Walmart - Flipkart deal of $20.8 billion has surprised many including its rival Amazon.

Walmart announced it has signed definitive agreements to become the largest shareholder in Flipkart. The press release says that the investment will help accelerate Flipkart’s customer-focused mission to transform commerce in India through technology and underscores Walmart’s commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India, one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world.

Walmart had already entered India's retail market by joining hands with Bharti. They operate 21 cash and carry stores in 9 states of India. The joint company Bharti-Walmart failed to make an impact in the grocery mall business which is ruled by Big Bazaar, D-Mart, Reliance, Tata and the Godrej. Whereas, India's e-commerce market had only three major players namely Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.

Subject to regulatory approval in India, Walmart will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 percent in Flipkart, formally Flipkart Private Limited. The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings Limited, Tiger Global Management LLC and Microsoft Corp. While the immediate focus will be on serving customers and growing the business, Walmart supports Flipkart’s ambition to list on financial market's in future. The deal bids a good-bye to Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal.

Founded in 2007, Flipkart has led India’s eCommerce revolution. The company has grown rapidly and earned customer trust, leveraging a powerful technology foundation, including artificial intelligence, and emerging as a leader in electronics, large appliances, mobile and fashion and apparel. In a market where Walmart expects eCommerce to grow at four times the rate of overall retail, and with well-known platforms such as Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe, Flipkart is uniquely positioned to leverage its integrated ecosystem, which is defined by localized service, deep insights into Indian customers and a best-in-class supply chain. Flipkart’s supply chain arm, eKart, serves more than 800 cities, making 500,000 deliveries daily.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, Flipkart recorded GMV of $7.5 billion and net sales of $4.6 billion representing more than 50 percent year-over-year growth in both cases. With the investment, Flipkart will leverage Walmart’s omni-channel retail expertise, grocery and general merchandise supply-chain knowledge and financial strength, while Flipkart’s talent, technology, customer insights and agile and innovative culture will benefit Walmart in India and across the globe.

Walmart’s investment includes $2 billion of new equity funding, which will help Flipkart accelerate growth in the future. The Flipkart investment transforms Walmart’s position in a country with more than 1.3 billion people, strong GDP growth, a growing middle class and significant runway for smartphone, internet and eCommerce penetration. Now, America's rivals will fight in Indian markets, largely benefitting the final consumers and the retailers.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source: Flipkart, Walmart.

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