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Flipkart registers food retail unit with 20B-rupee investment

Walmart Inc.'s Indian e-commerce company Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. has registered a new unit, called Flipkart Farmermart, that will specialize in food retailing in the country, Press Trust of India reported Oct. 15, citing Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

"In line with the Government of India's FDI policy, which allows 100% foreign direct investment in food retail for food produced and manufactured in India, Flipkart is applying for appropriate licenses from the government," Krishnamurthy reportedly said in a statement.

Flipkart did not disclose the size of its planned investment in the new venture, but according to PTI's sources, the company is expected to invest about 20 billion Indian rupees in the business and infuse more funds as required.

Flipkart Farmermart will aim to help Indian farmers, as well as the country's food processing industry, according to the report.

"We're looking forward to invest more deeply in local agri ecosystem, supply chain and [to work] with [hundreds of thousands] of small farmers, Farmer Producers Organizations, food processing industry in India, helping multiply farmers' income and [bringing] affordable, quality food for millions of customers across the country," Krishnamurthy reportedly added.

Walmart and Flipkart rival Amazon.com Inc. already has an online food retail license in India. Back in April, Amazon invested 2.4 billion Indian rupees into its food and grocery retail business Amazon Retail India Private Ltd. after the Indian government approved sales of food on Amazon's local e-commerce site.

As of Oct. 15, US$1 was equivalent to 71.49 Indian rupees.