Walmart-owned Flipkart on Thursday said it has signed an agreement with the Logistics Skill Sector Council (LSC) and Karnataka Skill Development Centre (KSDC) to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Bengaluru for building skilled and trained workforce for the e-commerce industry in India. Introduced to augment skill development for the logistic industry, Flipkart's CoE will be open to aspirants who want to work in the logistics industry, a statement said.
The centre aims to bring the spotlight on the importance of skill development for the sector and complement its growth in the coming years, it added.
Spread across an area of 1,500 sq ft, the CoE for e-commerce supply chain in Bengaluru has new-age classrooms equipped with computers and offers projector-based learning for the all round development of the candidates.
Flipkart has co-developed an extensive training module along with LSC and KSDC to train candidates on the various nuances of storage and distribution, customer management, and material handling, it said adding that the training also covers the necessary soft skills required to interact with customers.
This also includes imparting knowledge on local transportation laws and regulations and giving students holistic knowledge of the end-to-end supply chain, it noted.
Karnataka Kaushalya Mission, which is part of the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Livelihood, Karnataka Government, and LSC is helping mobilise aspirants for the Centre of Excellence.
In addition to the training, selected candidates will also get an opportunity to join a 60-day apprenticeship programme with Flipkart under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme to work on various aspects of a supply chain and expand their employment prospects in the e-commerce sector.
Upon successful completion of the training, candidates will be awarded certification under the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSFQ), which is equivalent to an undergraduate degree. This certificate is recognised across seven countries including, Australia, Denmark, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
Through this initiative, Flipkart aims to enhance the employability of unskilled and unemployed people and make them a part of India's skilled and certified workforce, the statement said.
"...we understand the importance of having a trained workforce for the long-term sustainability of the logistics industry. We are also cognisant of our responsibility towards the workforce to create further employment opportunities and ensure career progression through such initiatives," Amitesh Jha, Senior Vice-President and Head of Ekart, said.
This also ties into the sustained growth e-commerce has been witnessing in India, thereby creating thousands of job opportunities across specialities, including supply chain management, he added.
Captain T S Ramanujam, Chairman of Logistics Skill Sector Council, said the logistics industry is one of the largest employers in the country with over 40 million people employed in the supply chain, but faces the shortage of skilled manpower to meet the growing demand.
"Our first-of-its-kind industry partnership with Flipkart is a bright step towards bringing industry acceptability and employment to the unskilled workforce," he added.
Flipkart had partnered with LSC in 2019 to provide training to thousands of its supply chain employees. With the Centre of Excellence, the company is enhancing its partnership.
In a separate statement, Flipkart said it has further strengthened its vernacular language offerings with the introduction of Marathi, the third most widely spoken language in India, on its platform.
"With this, the Flipkart app is now accessible in six major languages including English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, further strengthening its commitment to making online commerce more inclusive and accessible for Indian consumers," the statement said.
Flipkart said it utilised a mix of translation and transliteration of over 5.4 million words to offer a personal and colloquial e-commerce experience for millions of its users.
According to industry reports, Indian-language internet users are expected to account for nearly 75 per cent of India's internet user base by the end of 2021. Over 50 per cent of all Flipkart users come from tier II and III cities, necessitating the need for an expanded vernacular offering.
"These developments are a part of our continued efforts towards further expanding the vernacular language universe on Flipkart, thereby making e-commerce more accessible and convenient for millions of consumers across the country and will be key to democratising e-commerce in India," Flipkart Chief Product and Technology Officer Jeyandran Venugopal said.