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Walmart India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc., is focussing on strengthening its technological side to scale up competition from e-commerce company Amazon, and is set to hire some 1,000 people in technological capacity-roles for the same.

Walmart’s Bengaluru and Gurgaon offices, which house the retail giant’s technology operations, employ about 1800 people right now. The company aims to grow this number and lead more product ownership outside India.

“Some of the things we are doing are a lot different. We have Walmart Labs, which is focussed on e-commerce. We have My Group, which is our global business services. We are trying to be more product-oriented. We have taken whole projects and moved them over to drive the Indian ownership of the product. We think that is helping, but this will help even more (in retaining talent),” Walmart chief information officer Clay Johnson told ET.

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Walmart has said that currently, its technology attrition is at par with industry levels, and it expects normal attrition spurts in the two-year and seven-year areas. The tech for Walmart’s product return process in its 5,000 US retail outlets have been wholly developed in India. “A lot of our Internet-of-things work that sits in our stores, a lot of those end-to-end products with sensors and data are being done here,” Johnson said.

Experts are putting Walmart’s IT spending on a figure worth USD 10 billion per year, which makes the world’s largest retail chain the world’s largest spender on technology as well. Seeing Amazon’s rise to success on the basis of digital outreach, Walmart is trying its best to outdo the competition in the same arena. Johnson says the retailer has changed its outlook on spending.

Walmart India also aims to launch 20 cash-and-carry stores in the next three years. The company has started its second B2B fulfilment centre in India in Lucknow last week. Walmart India President and CEO, Krish Iyer told the BusinessLine, “We expect to launch two cash-and-carry stores this year. We hope to open eight stores next year and 10 stores in 2020.” As part of its expansion plans in Uttar Pradesh, Iyer said the company has signed an MoU to establish 15 cash-and-carry stores in UP.

“Our B2B fulfilment centres will enable us to further strengthen our wholesale business and step up our B2B e-commerce model,” Iyer added.

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The company expects its B2B fulfilment centres to help fortify its non-store or out-of-store sales channels, which comprise B2B e-commerce, associate-driven sales, and call centres. It is also expected in helping to reach out to a wider customer base, which is mainly made up of of kirana stores, hotels, restaurants, and other institutional clients.

Currently, Walmart India runs 21 Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores in India. Earlier, the company had expressed its plans to add 50 cash-and-carry stores in five-six years in India.


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