Walmart-owned Flipkart on Saturday said it has partnered Tata Consumer Products Ltd under which the latter's distributors will list as marketplace sellers on the e-commerce platform.

The partnership will allow consumers to use the Flipkart platform to buy different combo packs of essential products such as beverages (Tata Tea and coffee) and food items (Tata Sampann spices, pulses, and Nutri mixes) offered by Tata Consumer Products, a statement said.

The partnership is already operational in Bengaluru, and the companies plan to expand these facilities in Mumbai and Delhi in the coming week and tier-II towns in the future.

The product combinations have been curated keeping in mind specific needs of Indian consumers, while also offering them significant cost benefits, it said.

"The partnership has brought together two iconic Indian companies that have created a unique distribution model, leveraging their combined strengths to solve for Indian consumers' need for access to essential commodities as they stay indoors and practise social distancing," it added.

The Tata Consumer Company distributors who are now listed online with Flipkart Marketplace, have undergone the Flipkart Training for Packaging and Order Fulfilment and will process orders as per the standard operating procedures set by Flipkart, it said.

"With the support of the government and local authorities, we are able to innovate unique distribution and supply chain models that enable us to serve communities in India.

"The synergies and capabilities of both Tata Consumer and Flipkart are complementary and we are proud to enable an alternate business channel built on our marketplace model to deliver great value to consumers in these times of crisis," Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, said.

Flipkart's marketplace supply chain will fulfil the orders by picking up these products from Tata Consumer Company distributors and delivering them to customers using its network of delivery executives.

"Tata Consumer Products is committed to ensuring availability of our beverage and food brands to consumers across India, during this difficult time," Tata Consumer Products MD and CEO Sunil D'Souza said.

He added that the partnership with Flipkart provides an innovative way to set up a strong alternate distribution channel through its wide network.

Tata Consumer Products, part of Tata group, was formed in February this year following the merger of Tata Global Beverages and the consumer products business of Tata Chemicals Ltd.

Earlier this week, Flipkart had announced a pilot with retail chain store Spencers to introduce hyperlocal deliveries of groceries and essentials in Hyderabad.

E-commerce companies are exploring unique models to ensure business continuity amid the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Bigbasket has partnered Uber to help in delivery of essential items, while Grofers said it has hired about 2,000 people from industries that have been deeply impacted by the current crisis such as textile, manufacturing, and services.

E-commerce companies have struggled to deliver orders after the 21-day lockdown was imposed on March 24.

Even though the government allowed delivery of essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce platforms, players faced hiccups initially.

The surge in orders also disrupted operations for these companies. Players have now started resuming operations across various cities, clearing pending orders before accepting new ones. PTI SR

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