Ecommerce major Flipkart on Wednesday said it is temporarily suspending operations in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak.
“Hello fellow Indians, We are temporarily suspending operations. Your needs have always been our priority and our promise is that we will be back to serve you, as soon as possible,” say a message on the website.
Walmart-owned Flipkart has been struggling to carry out its business in the last few days as restrictions on movement of people and goods were enforced across different states. Other ecommerce portals like Amazon, Snapdeal, BigBasket and Grofers have also faced similar logistical problems.
The note on Flipkart’s website went on to add, “These are difficult times, times like no other. Never before, have communities stayed apart to stay safe. Never before, has being at home meant helping the nation. We urge you to stay home to stay safe. We will get there. And we will get through. Together.”
Ecommerce delivery of food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment has been exempted from the lockdown, but the collapse of the supply-chain network has made life difficult for all players.
Rival Amazon is also facing issues, but has not suspended all its operations. It has decided to be selective in its deliveries and says,”To serve customers’ most urgent needs while also ensuring their safely of our associates, we are prioritizing all our resources to serve products that are currently high priority for customers. Other products are temporarily unavailable for purchase.”
According to Tracxn, Flipkart has an employee count of 5,710 and 30,000 delivery staff (on roll and off roll). Amazon, on the other hand, has nearly 7,50,000 employees globally, of which India accounts for more than 50,000 employees.
India is home to approximately 185,000 delivery workers, as per a 2018 estimation by TeamLease Services. Further, in 2018-19, Indian e-commerce market was worth $38.5 billion.