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Flipkart to open 3 more ‘big box’ units

NEW DELHI : Flipkart is set to open three large fulfillment centres spanning North, West and South India over the next three-to-four years as it ramps up capacity to feed growing demand for products sold via e-commerce.

The Walmart-backed e-commerce platform recently started operations at one such centre on the outskirts of Kolkata in Haringhata. The centre built with an investment of 1,500 crore is its largest in India with a capacity to employ 11,000 people and fulfill hundreds of thousands of daily orders.

More such big box units are being planned in the coming years, said a top executive at the company.

Flipkart has close to 80 fulfillment centres across India that stock everything from apparel to television and refrigerators. These are a combination of small and large facilities.

The one in Haringhata, located 50 km from Kolkata, is its largest. The big box facility has an integrated supply chain management spread across 110 acres, with 5 million cubic feet of storage. Spread over a total built up area of 2 million sq feet, the plot of land will also see an addition of another such fulfillment centre in the near future.

The centre currently employs 3,000 people with plans to ramp up hiring over the next few months.

The centre is now gearing up to fulfill a million shipments a day for the company’s upcoming flagship annual Big Billion Days sale ahead of the festive season.

“So next three years we would like to have three similar big boxes, which is work in progress. In each zone we want to have this facility,” said Hemant Badri, senior vice-president and head of supply chain at Flipkart. Badri was addressing the media at the Haringhata facility on Friday.

In 2021 the company was allotted 140 acres of land in Haryana’s Manesar. “We have already started work in Delhi-NCR, in Manesar; we intend something in the South (of India) of this scale. In the West we built two large facilities of 600,000 square feet each last year, so it might not be in two years but maybe three-to-four years in that region,” Badri said.

The company has added several large-scale fulfillment and sorting centres over the last three years across Haryana, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu among other states.

The e-commerce platform is set to 50,000 additional jobs during the upcoming festive season.

“Festive is a key period for e-commerce companies—a lot of new users come for the first time during this time because of the offers or the entire selection,” said Badri.

Disclaimer: The writer visited the Haringhata facility on an invitation from Flipkart.

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