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Flipkart plans to deliver packages using drones in rural areas

Online marketplace Flipkart is reportedly planning to deliver packages to its customers using drones in rural areas. Although, Flipkart plans to use drones to deliver goods are still in its very early-phase. 

Online marketplace Flipkart is reportedly planning to deliver packages to its customers using drones in rural areas. Although, Flipkart plans to use drones to deliver goods are still in its very early-phase. 

According to a Hindustan Times report, civilian drones are not allowed in India but a 7 year old Bangalore-based company is expecting to convince the government because it helps remote parts of the country.

E-commerce giant Amazon has already conceptualized the plan of delivering goods using flying drones called “Amazon PrimeAir” taking a package from a distribution centre to a customer’s front yard.

What Amazon has been testing in the US are flying Drones which could deliver packages that weigh up to 2.3 kilograms and could fly within 16 kilometers of the company’s distribution centres. 

“Also this is an integral part of the company’s vision as Flipkart sees itself more as a technology and engineering company with expertise in the supply chain,” Binny Bansal, the company’s chief operating officer, was quoted in the report as saying. 

“We are looking at drones for rural deliveries,” Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal told Hindustan Times. “We’ll have to start talking to the regulators. That is the way technology can solve the commerce problem in the country.”

In October 2014, the government banned drones after private users like a pizza joint in Mumbai experimented with the unmanned airborn mini-vehicles. The Director General of Civil Aviation cited security threats to ban drones in Indian airspace.

According to the Hindustan Times report, Bansal said that the company was adapting technologies to Indian conditions and costs and was keeping the options open to deploy robots, having already gone paperless in large parts of its logistics, where both time management and cost control are critical.

Talking about Flipkart deliver system and logistics process, as many as 100,000 packages have to be sorted for delivery in as many as 200 towns, and optimising resources is a key problem to be solved. Flipkart, which has a staff of 33,000, uses geo-coding of packets and handheld computers to help its field staff operate faster and cheaper. It has a core technology team of 1,200 engineers.

In other news, Flipkart, which is valued at more than $16 billion, may raise debt for the first time by selling rupee bonds for as much as Rs 3,000 crore. 

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