Flipkart | The success story of the biggest eCommerce website in India
Flipkart is one of the top eCommerce websites in India. Founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Flipkart is an incredible example of the success of Indian startups. What started as an online bookstore from a two-bedroom apartment in Bengaluru in 2007 has today grown into one of the biggest companies in India. In 2007, online businesses were not popular and Sachin Bansal took a risk by starting this company. The success story of Flipkart is truly inspiring to young entrepreneurs all around the world.
Sachin Bansal was born on 5 August 1981 in Chandigarh. At one point in his life, Sachin wanted to become a professional gamer. He graduated as a Computer Science Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2003. After graduating, he started working for Techspan. In 2006, he joined Amazon.com as a senior software engineer. Sachin met Binny Bansal in 2005, who also worked at Amazon with him. While working together, the idea of starting a start-up crossed their minds.
They quit their jobs at Amazon, pooled in 4 lakh rupees, and launched Flipkart in October 2007. Initially, they only sold books on the platform. They decided to do so as it was easy to list, ship, and find vendors compared to other categories. At this time, there were barely any good eCommerce websites in India. They wanted to use technology and provide customers with a better shopping experience.
However, the initial days were not easy for Sachin and Binny. Despite all the difficulties they faced, they managed to close the initial year with 20 successful shipments. Within six months, the startup became profitable. In 2008, they moved into a 2BHK apartment in Kormangala, which served as their new office. Slowly, their business started to boom and by the end of the financial year of 2009, Flipkart had managed to sell books worth 40 million rupees. In 2009, Flipkart received its first venture capital investment of $1 million from Accel. By the end of 2009, 150 employees worked at Flipkart. They set up offices in Mumbai and Delhi, besides Bangalore’s center.
The success of Flipkart
As the months went by and while book sales continued to grow, mobile sales remained stagnant. Customers were not willing to pay huge sums of money without receiving their products. Hence, they introduced the Cash on Delivery payment option. Flipkart was among one of the first eCommerce startups to introduce cash on delivery option for its customers. The buyers loved this feature and the company got more popular. Soon, they introduced the option of returning products if the buyer was not satisfied. This became a game-changer and Flipkart’s sales started to grow even more rapidly. From 40 million rupees in revenues in 2009, Flipkart expanded its revenues to 750 million rupees by the end of 2011. After this, they were unstoppable. In 2014, they bought Myntra, an online shopping company, for INR 2000 crore. In 2018, Walmart bought Flipkart for $16 billion with a 77% stake.
Flipkart’s growth is phenomenal and today, it is one of the biggest companies in the world. Even though the founders may have left Flipkart, the company wouldn’t have reached where it is today without them. They understood the needs of their customers and gave them what they wanted. They faced their own set of failures but that did not stop the founders from taking a step back. With persistence and hard work, Sachin and Binny Bansal discovered new methods to keep building and growing Flipkart.
Flipkart operates many house brands like Citron and Digiflip, which are home appliances and electronics brand. In 2017, Flipkart launched Billion, the smartphone brand, Smartbuy(which replaced Digiflip) and MarQ. They also sell Nokia brand televisions, a 55-inch Android Smart TV was released under the licensing agreement.
Recently, Flipkart revealed that their sales have gone from $4.8 billion in 2020 to $9 billion in 2021. The company discussed how the fashion segment has been gaining huge popularity. The Vice President of Flipkart, Mr. Sandeep Karwa said that during the summer-spring season sale in 2022, the brand sold over 200 million fashion products in the country.
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Who is the current CEO of Flipkart?
Where was Flipkart founded?
Bengaluru, Karnata in 2007
Who acquired a 77% controlling stake in Flipkart in 2018?