India’s GreyOrange Offers Warehouse Automation

Engineers Samay Kohli and his colleague Akash Gupta have created GreyOrange a robotics supplier whose products support online retailing not only in India, but internationally too. Based in Gurgaon, India, GreyOrange says it has 90% of the warehouse automation market in India, and it works with leading e-commerce and logistics firms in the country, reports the BBC. The company has eight offices in five countries and employs more than 650 people.

GreyOrange has two kinds of robots that help warehouses become more productive: Butler, an artificial intelligence-powered robotic system, can pick products from shelves in the warehouse. ”A single person would pick about 100 to 120 items in one hour. With our Butler robot, he is able to pick 400 to 500 items every hour,” Kohli says.

Sorter, automates the sorting of outgoing packages in a distribution center, and the pair of robots can potentially sort three million packages every day. The founders say, “It’s [AI] a trillion-dollar opportunity, that’s the space we’re fighting in.”

GreyOrange Sorter 1500

GreyOrange Sorter

Some of their clients are Kerry Logistics, Jabong, Flipkart, Aramex and Gojavas.

 

January 24, 2017   No Comments

Flipkart Claims User Base Exceeds 100 Million

India’s e-tailer Flipkart crossed the 100-million registered users mark, becoming the first e-commerce company in the country to hit the milestone.

Flipkart Logo

Its investors include Tiger Global, Naspers, Accel Partners, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, T Rowe, and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Bangalore-based company doubled its user base over the last year and added 25 million users in the past six months. A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch Report pegs Flipkart as the leader with over 43 percent market share, and predicts that by 2019, Flipkart will increase its share to 44 per cent.

The Hindu reports that e-commerce companies in India have witnessed tremendous growth on the back of strong demand for smartphones and increasing data usage. India, which is among the fastest growing e-commerce markets globally, is expected to continue on the growth momentum over the three to five years, it says.

 

October 3, 2016   No Comments

Wal-Mart May Join Forces with India’s Flipkart

The Hindu reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc is negotiating a minority stake in Flipkart, the e-commerce retailer in India, in which it is looking to invest between $750 million and $1 billion. Flipkart has been valued at about $11.5 billion, media reported last month, citing a U.S. regulatory filing from investor VALIC, a Houston, Texas-based division of the American International Group Inc.

Walmart India’s Best Price Wholesale Store

Wal-Mart India’s Best Price Wholesale Store

Both Wal-Mart in India and Flipkart declined to comment. Wal-Mart only operates wholesale stores in India, and if the deal does go through, Flipkart and Wal-Mart stand to become Amazon India’s biggest competitor.

 

September 29, 2016   No Comments

Amazon India, and Flipkart Beat a New Path to Customers’ Doors

New rules for e-commerce in India framed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion  bar any one merchant on sites such as Amazon, Flipkart or Snapdeal from accounting for 25 percent or more of total sales.

The rules also stipulate that “e-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain a level playing field.” Perhaps, the  “big sale day” strategies are over.

Yet, even before these rules were announced, both Amazon and Flipkart had begun reaching out to customers in small towns, and Tier II and III cities with a new message : trust, convenience and easy returns, which is replacing the discount offerings that these companies have always relied on. With the e-commerce industry set to cross the Rs 3,800 crore mark by the end of this year per the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India estimates, the online marketplaces are vying for more attention from these towns.

Both companies claim that in trying to widen their base of customers they are focused on converting the older generation into online shoppers. Their ad campaigns – Amazon’s ‘apni dukan‘ (your own shop) and ‘Flipkart matlab bilkul pakka‘ (Flipkart means quality assured) – are geared to capture customers’ trust and loyalty.

The convenience of shopping at home with the option of accepting cash on delivery appeals to consumers in the 18-25 years old category. However, the generation, which is slightly older, is where the opportunity lies. And they need a different story, if they are to be brought online, says Business Standard.

“The Indian e-commerce space is still at a very nascent stage with significant potential for innovation and growth,” said an Amazon India spokesperson. As the new campaigns indicate, nothing will be left to chance when it comes to converting this potential into reality.

April 11, 2016   No Comments

E-commerce Startup ShopClues, India, Valued at $1 Billion

A Series E funding by Nexus Partners, Tiger Global and GIC, the Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund, has raised the valuation of the e-commerce company ShopClues to $1.1 billion. Headquartered in Gurgaon, India, the company was founded in California’s Silicon Valley in 2011.

ShopClues logo

This new “unicorn valuation” puts ShopClues in the same league as competing Indian e-commerce companies Flipkart and Snapdeal, reports TechCrunch. All three of these companies, as well as Amazon India, offer a wide range of products, but ShopClues is focusing on price-conscious consumers in smaller cities that are often overlooked by online sellers.

“We are targeting the kind of shoppers who are now coming online and who you will see more of this year and next,” co-founder and chief executive officer Sanjay Sethi told TechCrunch.

While keeping margins sustainable, ShopClues is able to offer low prices by serving as a platform for merchants instead of carrying its own inventory. Part of its Series E round will be used to improve its cloud-based e-commerce tools and attract more small businesses. The company currently provides capital loans and logistic and online payment tools.

It expects to hit profitability by the first half of 2017, which is also when Sethi says the company plans to list on the U.S. or Indian stock market.

January 17, 2016   No Comments