India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart is planning to invest up to $500 million in the next five years to build nearly 100 warehouses in the country. The company, often looked upon as the Indian version of eBay Inc., also hopes to reach sales of $10 billion worth of goods by the end of 2016, the Economic Times (ET), a local newspaper, reported Monday.
Flipkart also plans to commission its largest warehouse in the country this month, located in the southern state of Telangana. The latest fulfillment center, which will cover over 20,000 square meters, is set to process 1,200,000 units a day, the report added. The company currently has 16 warehouses in the country and makes about 8 million shipments a month. The overhaul will help the Bangalore-based firm work toward its aim of carrying out 1 billion shipments a year in 2017-18, or 10 times the current volume.
"We would end up investing somewhere around $300-500 million in the next five years," Binny Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, said, according to ET, adding: "In four-five years, we will have at least 10 times the capacity in warehousing."
Through the new warehouse, Flipkart is also trying its hands at automation for the first time. The process, which will use conveyors, sorters and profilers, will help achieve double the throughput -- the rate at which a warehouse can ship items -- per square foot as compared to any other warehouse of the company.
"In India, all companies have to invent a new way of doing warehousing, which is relevant for emerging markets where the cost of labor is not so high," Bansal said, according to ET.
The latest warehouse is expected to create 2,000 direct jobs and nearly 15,000 indirect jobs, the Times of India, a local newspaper, reported.