Flipkart has decided to shut down its grocery delivery app ‘Nearby’. The pilot project, launched in October, would deliver basic provisions like fruits and vegetables to buyers within the hour. Apparently, customers did not warm up to the app, and it was not financially viable, so Flipkart has decided to close it down.
The country’s leading ecommerce company did not market it much, partly because it was a pilot project.
The company has learnt that the investment scene for hyper local projects is dull. One reason for this could be because selling groceries does not have high returns, so the local stores are not keen on tying up with online operators. Most Indian companies are finding it difficult to keep up their grocery business. Surprisingly, Amazon is surging forth in its plans for delivering groceries.
Diverting resources to tech, cutting other expenses short
CEO Binny Bansal is looking at cutting costs, and it looks like closing down ‘Nearby’ is a move in that direction. According to Bansal’s plans, the expenditure on technology will take priority. The company plans to increase its man power in the technology and engineering teams.
The engineering unit currently has 1,000 employees, and this will go up to nearly 1,500 this year, according to CTO Peeyush Rajan. He said, “We’re investing in technologies on mobile, we are investing heavily in infrastructure we have built the biggest data centre in India. And we are using that to understand a lot of data big data and machine learning.”
“Mobile, infrastructure, productivity are the biggest areas. We are looking for a lot of data scientists,” Rajan added.