India’s leading e-tailer Flipkart has sought better infrastructure and ease of doing business to invest more in Karnataka for expanding its operations, Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande said on Wednesday. “They (Flipkart) did talk about fresh investments in the state and are looking for our support, especially better infrastructure and favourable regulatory framework for e-commerce segment,” Deshpande told reporters after an informal meeting with Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal at his home office in Bengaluru. Admitting inadequate infrastructure was a cause for concern to all stakeholders, especially in the e-commerce space where supply chain and logistics were critical for e-tailing operations, Deshpande told the Bansals that the state government was addressing the issue to overcome its bottlenecks. “On infrastructure, we understand that nothing can be done immediately, as it takes time due to constraints in early execution, as many agencies are involved in the projects” the minister asserted. Advising the Bansals to interact more with his counterparts in the e-commerce segment and revert, the minister said the government was investing in building elevated corridors, Bengaluru Metro Second Phase and other amenities to expand infrastructure, speed-up vehicular movement and decongest the city roads. “We are addressing the issues (roads, flyovers, ring roads) to ensure people do not get delayed and doing our best to meet the expectation of the e-commerce sector,” Deshpande asserted. Noting that without investments, no state could grow, the senior minister said the state government was doing everything to create conducive atmosphere for leveraging the city’s best eco-system for the sunrise e-commerce industry. Though registered in Singapore, Flipkart is headquartered in this tech hub since 2007. Asserting that Flipkart was seeing very good growth across categories, Sachin said the company was exploring different revenue streams, as e-commerce in India was still at two percent of shopping across the country. “For instance, mobile phone has gone beyond other categories from penetration viewpoint. We are exploring opportunities to improve our operations and focus on execution than worry about mark downs, as Flipkart is not the only company to be marked down in the e-commerce space,” Sachin told reporters on the occasion. The co-founders are also looking at mentoring leaders and developing partnership for the company to overcome headwinds, especially financial cycles. “The Internet sector is going through down cycle, which doesn’t last forever,” Sachin added. Clarifying that the company was not looking to raise funds, Sachin said efforts were underway to improve efficiency and growth.
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