In a move that could indicate collaboration between rivals in a competitive e-tail sector, Paytm, the online marketplace, is piloting service with Ekart, where the goods shipped from its platform will be delivered by the logistics arm of Flipkart.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the chief executive officer of Paytm, said, “Ekart will be an interesting experiment for us. Since we are a marketplace, we work with different vendors to enable our merchants to reach a wider consumer base.”
For Paytm, the move marks greater focus on reaching customers in smaller towns and cities which generate more than half of total orders.
For Ekart, which has been down the road of growing as an independent business by reducing dependence on a single customer, Flipkart, this move with an online marketplace is expected to boost its prospects.
Amitesh Jha, a vice-president at Ekart, said, “Ekart has the capability to transport over 5 lakh shipments from different sellers across India. We will be using the same capabilities to offer services to other companies.”
The company expects to win an equal volume of business from Flipkart and third-party shipments by next year. With quicker deliveries to the customers being the need of the hour after discount on products failing to engage consumers, India’s major e- commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal have each set up their in-house logistics companies.
“We are integrating Ekart with our network of logistics players to offer an end-to-end experience for both consumers and sellers,” said Sudhanshu Gupta, head of business at Paytm.