Walmart-Flipkart deal: U-M experts can discuss
University of Michigan experts are available to comment on Walmart’s agreement to take a controlling stake in e-commerce giant Flipkart, a leading online shopping site in India, and what it might mean for the company and for Indian consumers.
M.S. Krishnan is a professor of technology and operations and associate dean for global initiatives at the Ross School of Business. His research focuses on Indian businesses and computer information systems.
“India is one of the fastest growing markets with near 8 percent growth projected in the next few years,” he said. “So all of the global retailers both physical and online would want a piece of this market. Walmart does not have a significance presence in India and their prior attempts to open physical stores has been met with limited success. Flipkart has built phenomenal scale as an online business, working logistics and last-mile delivery in this market.
“This is a play by Walmart to get ready access to these capabilities so that they can effectively compete with Amazon in this market. However, Flipkart’s operations are not profitable. So the outcome of this will all depend on the successful execution by Walmart post-acquisition.”
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Erik Gordon is a clinical assistant professor at the Ross School of Business and expert on entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.
“Walmart is fighting a global battle with Amazon for retailing supremacy,” he said. “It can’t win the battle unless it is strong in India, and it needs an established, local company to help it do what it is unlikely to be able to do on its own. Consumers in India will have access to Walmart’s worldwide product-sourcing capabilities and its global purchasing power.”
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Puneet Manchanda is a professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business. His expertise includes business in emerging markets, business in India, and strategy and marketing issues.
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