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Innovations for festive sales help build capabilities for future: Flipkart

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New Delhi: Flipkart has significantly expanded its infrastructure and delivery operations ahead of the festive sale, an investment that the Walmart-backed company believes will help further strengthen its capabilities in the long-term.
Flipkart, which will host its Big Billion Days (BBD) sale from October 10-14 this year, has doubled its warehousing capacity and now has over 65 fulfilment centres and more than 60 ‘mother hubs’ that will cater to the expected spike in demand during the festive sale.
“BBD pushes us to innovate in every area, including supply and logistics. It helps us build capabilities for long-term. Each BBD is bigger than the previous one and sets a new normal — for both business and innovation — for the future,” Flipkart Senior Vice President of Engineering (Supply Chain) Krishna Raghavan told PTI.
“We have been working multiple months in advance and have doubled our storage capacity this year. This not only helps in speedier delivery to customers but also enables sellers to stock and better plan their inventory in advance,” he said but declined to comment on investment details.
Raghavan added that the cumulative capacity now stands at about 9.5 million sq ft.
The company has also expanded its network of delivery hubs from 600 to over 900 this year to enable 1.8X delivery capability per day compared to a normal day. Besides, about 30,000 new delivery staff have been added over the past many weeks, including freelance workers who are part timers. These personnel were inducted after a proper background screening and given training for 1-4 weeks.
“While the hiring number does see a ramp-up ahead of BBD, it is also important to note that we have been expanding ‘Fquick’ or the freelance network, which now has affiliates from 40 cities…This provides us capacity flexibility at our last mile delivery hubs, leading to spillage reduction and cost efficiency — not only during sale period but beyond that as well,” he said.
He also cited an example of geo-coding of addresses using machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science to ensure faster and effective delivery even in remote parts of the country.
Raghavan said the focus of all these initiatives is to ensure fast and efficient delivery across categories, be it large appliances or grocery. The network has also been strengthen to support Flipkart’s product exchange programme that has been expanded aggressively, especially in tier II cities and beyond.
About 20 million people are expected to shop on various e-commerce platforms during the festive sale next month, translating into sales of around USD 3 billion for players like Amazon and Flipkart, according to a report by research firm RedSeer. Flipkart’s rival Amazon India will kick off its festive sale from October 10-15.


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Air India to start new domestic and international flights from next month

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Air India on Wednesday announced that various new flights would begin from next month on domestic as well as international routes in order to meet heavy demand of seats during the summer vacation.

The national carrier said it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Mumbai-Dubai-Mumbai route from June 1.

Moreover, it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Delhi-Dubai-Delhi route too from June 2 by operating two new flights using its B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

 

“The airline will offer one way Economy class promotional fare of Rs 7777 (all inclusive) from both Delhi and Mumbai to Dubai for sale and travel up to July 31, 2019,” Air India said in a statement.

On its domestic front, Air India said it will introduce new flights on Bhopal-Pune-Bhopal route and Varanasi-Chennai-Varanasi route from June 5.

“The number of flights on Delhi-Bhopal-Delhi will be increased from present 14 flights per week to 20 flights per week by introducing third frequency to the historical city of Tals,” the statement added.

The national carrier would be increasing its flights on Delhi-Raipur-Delhi route from existing seven flights per week to 14 flights per week.

According to Air India, the number of flights per week would be increased on routes such as Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Delhi, Chennai-Ahmedabad-Chennai and Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai.

The flights per week would also be increased on Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi route and Mumbai-Vizag-Mumbai route, the statement added.

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Sensex gains 140 pts ahead of election outcome

Press Trust of India

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex jumped 140 points Wednesday, driven by gains in banking and auto stocks ahead of the general election results.

After swinging over 300 points during the day, the 30-share index ended 140.41 points, or 0.36 per cent, higher at 39,110.21. The gauge hit an intra-day high of 39,249.08 and a low of 38,903.87.

In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty rose 28.80 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 11,737.90.

 

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 4.84 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Tata Motors, SBI, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, HDFC, Vedanta, L&T, Kotak Bank, Maruti and Axis Bank, ending up to 2.92 per cent higher.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, ITC, PowerGrid, TCS and HUL ended in the red, slipping up to 2.34 per cent.

According to experts, investor sentiment turned positive this week after most exit polls forecast a win for the Narendra Modi-led NDA. The results of the seven-phased polls will come out Thursday.

Unabated foreign fund inflows too buoyed market mood here, traders said.

Foreign institutional investors net bought equities worth Rs 1,185.44 crore on Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors sold shares to the tune of Rs 1,090.32 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated marginally to 69.68 against the US dollar.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at USD 71.72 per barrel, higher by 0.64 per cent.

Globally, bourses in Asia ended on a mixed note, while those in Europe were trading in the green in early deals.

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Database inadvertently exposed but did not include personal data: Chtrbox

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Mumbai-based Chtrbox, which was allegedly responsible for leaking data of millions of Instagram users, has said database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed but that did not include any sensitive personal data.

The company termed the reports of private data being leaked as “inaccurate” and acknowledged that “a particular database for limited influencers was inadvertently exposed for approximately 72 hours”.

“This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self reported by influencers,” it said in a statement late Tuesday night.

 

On Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram said it is investigating whether a third-party – Chtrbox – improperly stored its user data in violation of its policies after reports that information of millions of users being available online allegedly in an unsecured database emerged.

These reports said the database found online – with over 49 million records – contained information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts. The database was allegedly traced back to Chtrbox.

The reports had said apart from public data (like bio, profile picture and number of followers), the database also allegedly contained users’ private contact information such as email address and phone number.

An Instagram spokesperson had said the company is “investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies. It’s also not clear whether the phone numbers and e-mails in Chtrbox’s database came from Instagram”.

Chtrbox, in its statement, asserted that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by the company.

“Our database is for internal research use only, we have never sold individual data or our database, and we have never purchased hacked-data resulting from social media platform breaches. Our use of our database is limited to help our team connect with the right influencers to support influencers to monetize their online presence, and help brands create great content,” it added.

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