Walmart To Deploy Flipkart's Tech Expertise Globally
As reported by Economic Times, Walmart plans to globally deploy Flipkart’s expertise in progressive web applications that are aimed at a seamless shopping experience even with low bandwidth and cheaper phones besides its data analytics know how.
The retail giant, which is betting on India’s technology talent, will wait until the process of absorbing the e-commerce company is well underway.
“I am excited to start working with Flipkart’s tech team. We treat every acquisition, regardless of size, the same where we try and leave them alone for a year, just to make sure the integration goes well. And then we wait for them to ask and then we start working with them,” said Jeremy King, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Walmart. “In Flipkart’s case, we know they have a number of systems they have innovated on that we are interested in. But we are sort of in that quiet period, but we are almost ready to talk to them.”
He said web apps and data analytics were two areas Walmart was interested in. In 2015, Flipkart was among the first in the world to work on progressive web apps to tap consumers in small towns with cheap smartphones that have limited disk space. The 100 kilobyte app — 100 times smaller than the Android version — helped Flipkart reach more consumers in tier two and three towns with poor internet links.
“We will get there when they are ready to start to talk to us. It’s a funny tradition in Walmart but it is wise because we could really overwhelm a small company,” said King. “We want them to win the market in India and we don’t want to distract them.”
Walmart completed its $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart in August. The world’s largest retail company said its portfolio of companies makes it easier to share technology and that it has created structures through which its businesses across the globe can share ideas and technology.
“The four CTO/CIOs at Walmart meet every week and we talk about people and growth plans and new technology investments. At the top, we are connected, and lower down, we are an international summit where the product leader for each company goes over the roadmap and say we are going to build these things and then others who want to build that will work together,” King said.
India played a significant role in Walmart’s technology ecosystem even before the acquisition.
Its labs division employs about 2,000 people in the country. It has end-to-end control on some of the company’s products and is also helping Walmart’s other international business units with strategy.
“Bangalore is the one place where we all are. Sometimes we talk in the hallways because this is the one locations where we have teams for all the four CTOs/CIOs,” he said.