Flipkart devises strategy for profitability with minimum hiring, unified departments and centralised procurement

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According to a report in the ET, Flipkart is making changes in its internal structure and procurement and hiring strategy. This is not particularly surprising given the pressure to become profitable, fight Amazon and most importantly to convince investors (who do not seem too positive).

This time, with focus on profitability, the company is looking to unify departments and make changes in its procurement and hiring strategy.

Minimum Hiring

Flipkart received a lot of flak for deferring the joining of IIM-A students this year. Being one of the most popular startups, it led many people seriously debating on the stability of jobs in startups. Although it still managed to become the favourite place to work according to a LinkedIn report, the company is now more cautious in its hiring.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Flipkart now carefully evaluates each position before recruiting candidates for it. The company said that it would hire according to its need and focus on the development of internal talent.

Our hiring plans are in line with the business goals and we are continuing to hire rich talent in our areas of focus. Over the past years we have built a team of outstanding global professionals. This year we are also emphasizing on internal development of our existing talent,

said a company spokesperson.

Unification of departments and product categories

Flipkart is planning to merge its engineering departments of advertising and e-commerce units and Ekart logistic unit.  Similarly, it is merging certain product categories as well. These includes merger of independent categories of large appliances, small appliances, furniture, home decor, kitchen and furnishing under home category.

A single sales and marketing teams will take care of all of them after the merger. This, according to a person familiar with the matter, will also serve the purpose of reducing the need for fresh recruits.

Centralised procurement and investment in automation of warehousing

Flipkart has already made changes to its seller policy, increasing commissions for sellers and policy on return products. Now, it is looking to develop a single procurement centre for all its needs.

It will be responsible for negotiating with multiple vendors. It will serve as one point centre of purchase for all functions like media buying, promotions, IT, supplies and warehousing.

Furthermore, to cut costs and reduce human intervention, it is planning to invest in automation at its warehouses and delivery operations. Through all these efforts, Flipkart is aiming to cut costs by as much as 30%.

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