Who doesn’t seeks options from Flipkart before ordering anything online? Want to a buy an outfit but is too lazy to move out, what’s better than Flipkart? Flipkart is India’s leading online portal famous for selling a range of products including, lifestyle, skin care or even electronics. A company started from a two room apartment in Bengaluru, today owns a net worth of $1.3 billion.
The success story of Flipkart is a real inspiration for many young entrepreneurs!
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal were the two techies working in Amazon, initially met in 2005, the duo decided to quit their job in 2007 and started their own venture. Two ex-employees of Amazon- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related) started Flipkart as an online books selling store. They made their app particularly to sell books with a promise of delivery anywhere across India. The platform was founded with a meagre Rs.6500 as a startup fund. After 15 days of its launch, they get their first customer from Telangana and were able to sell 20 books within the same year. And that’s how their journey started. A couple of months into the business and they realized that they had a larger target audience to tap.Flipkart- literally meaning flipping things into the cart- now was focusing upon raising funds. In the first few years of its existence, Flipkart raised funds through venture capital funding, but the founders were able to repay the funds on time. In the 2008 and 2009, the company had made sales to the tune of Rs.40 million which increased to Rs.200 million in the following year. On 6 October 2014, in honour of the company’s anniversary and the Diwali season, Flipkart held a major sale across the service that it promoted as “Big Billion Day”. The event generated a surge of traffic, selling US$100 million worth of goods in 10 hours! One major obstacle in setting up the company was the payment, many people hesitate to pay online due to theft fear. So Flipkart introduced COD, cash on delivery option to ease the customer satisfaction. In December 2015, Flipkart purchased a minority stake in the digital mapping provider MapmyIndia. During these days, the founders received many titles such as Sachin Bansal was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2012–2013 from The Economic Times, a leading Indian economic daily newspaper, in 2015, the two founders entered Forbes India Rich List and in 2016 Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal were named to Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People. Flipkart faced many problems throughout these years from allegation to criticism but the company survived each one of them.
But this venture last year was sold out to the Walmart. On 4 May 2018, it was reported that the US retail chain Walmart had won a bidding war with Amazon to acquire a majority stake in Flipkart for US$15 billion. Sachin bansal stepped down from his position of CEO leaving behind Binny Bansal as working CEO. Sachin in his short farewell note said that he will keep watching the company and will cheer for it from afar. On 13 November 2018, Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal resigned, after facing an allegation of “serious personal misconduct”. Now Flipkart works under Walmart and both the original founders are not there. Though the allegations were not proved in the investigation, but it did reveal other lapses in the judgement according to how Binny reacted to the situation.
However which was once a fight between an Indian company and an American company (Amazon) today has actually turned out to be the fight of two American companies. Many entrepreneurs who look up to Flipkart founders were not happy with the deal and protested, but all in vein as the duo quit their positions. However it was their efforts and hard work which made Flipkart what it is today. The duo laid the foundation and made such a huge venture which was quite a tough competitor of company like Amazon. Their story is definitely an inspiring one!