Walmart’s president and CEO Doug McMillon is in India to meet the Flipkart team in Bengaluru. Walmart acquired the e-commerce marketplace for USD 16 billion in May last year.
According to a report in Business Standard, the purpose of the visit is to assess the progress made by Flipkart since the acquisition. McMillon will meet the senior leadership at Flipkart and address employees in a townhall meeting on Tuesday.
A source told the Business Standard, “He (McMillon) would be visiting the Flipkart Campus and would be meeting the employees.”
He would also discuss strategies to tackle its US-based rival Amazon’s business in India. Amazon India and Flipkart have been slugging it out in India over the years for a larger market share. The competition becomes more tangible during festive seasons when both platforms come up with a bevy of discounts, offers and run exclusive sales in partnership with manufacturers.
However, exclusive partnerships with manufacturers and deep discounts given by online platforms have come under the government lens leading to the formulation of a new ecommerce policy putting a ban on both.
During an analyst call in February this year, McMillon expressed Walmart Inc’s disappointment over the recent amendment in the law and the general regulatory environment in India. However, he said the team is working to ensure the firm is in compliance with the new rules. According to McMillon, the new regulations have not shaken Walmart’s “confidence and excitement” about Flipkart’s long-term prospects.
The timing of the McMillon’s visit has piqued curiosity as the US retail giant is facing heat from its stakeholders over its extravagant Flipkart buy-in. In March, Walmart said the acquisition of Flipkart for USD16 billion negatively impacted its net income in 2018-19 (FY19), and the trend would bleed over to 2019-20 as well. Walmart posted a 2.8% growth in revenue from USD 500 billion in FY18 to USD 514 billion in FY19.