Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said that the company respects the Indian government’s decision to reverse its previous order that allowed ecommerce companies to deliver non-essential items.
In a mail to its employees, Krishnamurthy also encouraged them to explore innovative ways to drive value for the ecosystem including sellers, brands, kirana stores, and customers.
“We respect the decision because the government has many complex scenarios to manage while protecting more than a billion people in the country,” Krishnamurthy said.
Four days after allowing ecommerce firms to also deliver non-essential items such as electronic goods and readymade garments, the government on Sunday said the sale of non-essential items will continue to be prohibited during the lockdown period till May 3.
“With this development, changes our plans at the Flipkart group, the entire leadership and the management team is completely aligned and committed to supporting the government’s decision…,” Krishnamurthy added.
He said that the company will continue to deliver groceries and essentials to customers across the nation, adding that it will do so while following the highest standards of hygiene across the supply chain and last-mile delivery.
The reversal of the decision not to allow the delivery of non-essentials took the ecommerce industry by surprise.
Under the first phase of the nationwide lockdown between March 24-April 14, the government had only allowed delivery of essential goods through ecommerce platforms.
On April 16, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued fresh guidelines for the current lockdown, allowing all ecommerce deliveries and movement of trucks.
However, on Sunday, the Home Ministry issued an order saying the following clause — “Ecommerce companies. Vehicles used by ecommerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions” — is excluded from the guidelines issued.
The Seatle-based ecommerce major Amazon, in a statement, said, “We appreciate and are fully committed to the vision of the government to keep the citizens healthy. The need of the hour is to ensure the safety of our citizens first, serving their needs while they stay at home. The new guideline will disappoint not only the consumers whose list of essentials had expanded to work from home and study from home products, but also the thousands of small businesses, sellers, and manufacturers across the country, who had geared up in the last 48 hours to provide millions of people with safe access to products.”
The company expressed hope that the situation would be rectified soon so that the urgent needs of the consumers are met along with a revival of economic activity.
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