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How Walmart’s taking on Amazon, with help from Indian engineers


Amazon has hit almost every US retailer adversely. An exception has been Walmart. At over $500 billion in revenue, it remains more than twice as big as Amazon. In 2019, its share price rose 27%, much faster than Amazon’s and among the fastest in the Dow Jones index.

The stock price surge actually began in late 2015. That’s roughly the time the company embarked on a digital transformation of itself. The move has enabled the company to deal with its phenomenal scale — over 275 million cus tomers visit its 11,300 stores and e-commerce sites every week — more effectively, and provide consumers with choices in shopping that were impossible earlier.

Core to this transformation has been Walmart Labs in Bengaluru, one of the company’s biggest R&D and engineering arms. “In the last three years, we have really evolved and grown here,” says the head of labs in India, Hari Vasudev, who moved from Flipkart, where he shaped the strategy for supply chain and built the technology   stack for its logistics arm EKart.

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