Walmart International chief executive officer (CEO) Judith McKenna has said the company is impressed by its firms in India, which includes e-commerce major Flipkart, digital payments giant PhonePe and online fashion retailer Myntra. This is because they have performed in line with the US retail giant’s expectations.
Specifically talking about Flipkart’s performance, she said the ecommerce major’s monthly active customer base has grown by 45 per cent. The transactions per customer increased 30 per cent while the firm has tracked over one billion visits per month.
The Bentonville-based company (in Arkansas) is locked in a battle with US rival Amazon for dominance in India’s online retail market through Flipkart, which it acquired for $16 billion in 2018.
“We made an investment there (Flipkart) 18 months ago and we continue to be impressed with the teams that have a strong culture and the way they operate,” said McKenna during the 2020 Investment Community Meeting held in New York earlier in the day.
“I have been to India five times last year and I never seize to be amazed by the energy, the spirit and the entrepreneurship of the folks of our business,” added McKenna.
She said the engagement with Flipkart is continuing to grow as Indian customers become comfortable with the convenience and availability it is providing.
Only 10 per cent of families in India own a smart TV, washing machine or an air conditioner. When they are sold on Flipkart, the company is teaching the customers to use those new products and that, in turn, drives confidence in the firm.
“I can tell you the health of the platform (Flipkart) is strong. Their strategy is simple (which) is to democratise shopping by providing affordability and access,” said McKenna.
McKenna said Flipkart is building innovations tailored for the Indian market, including voice-assisted transaction capabilities in vernacular language and fintech constructs, to increase access to credit and affordability options for shoppers. This is helping the company tap tier-2 cities.
She also said the other group company PhonePe’s journey is remarkable and the ambition is to be India’s largest transaction platform anchored in payments.
The firm has about 200 million registered users, 20 million daily active users and sees 500 million monthly transactions. The company also witnessed annualised total payments value (TPV) of $180 billion and has 10 million merchants.
She added, “This business is just three years old. It took the business (PhonePe) two years to reach the one billion transaction mark. Last year, it crossed 5 billion transactions. We are really excited about its future.”
McKenna also highlighted the innovations created by PhonePe, including building an automated teller machine (ATM) network. This enables neighbourhood stores to act as ATMs for PhonePe users. The company said it will create an ATM network of 2 million by the end of this year.