Binny Bansal: Co-Founding Flipkart
Binny Bansal: Co-Founding Flipkart
Purnima Narang || The CEO Magazine
Binny Bansal, the man and his brand “Flipkart” has been known by every Indian aspiring entrepreneur today. Belonging to Chandigarh, the capital city of Punjab, India, he is the co-founder of the shopping platform known as “Flipkart”. He is a 36 years old Indian Billionaire Internet entrepreneur who served as the chief operating officer of the company until 11 January 2016 and was then promoted to chief executive officer (CEO).
He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with a degree in computer science and engineering. Coincidentally, Binny Bansal and the co-founder of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal (not related) were students of computer science engineering at the same institute in India’s capital. Bansal currently resides in Bangalore. Bansal’s family includes his father who is a retired chief manager at a bank and his mother is in the government sector.
Career and Passion to Build
Binny’s career path has been an interesting journey which led to the establishment of the company. Binny initially worked at Sarnoff Corporation for a year and a half, where he developed a lane sensor device for cars which would warn you and beep automatically if you changed lanes without giving a signal.
Bansal was rejected by the corporate giant Google and started working at Amazon as it was the next best option. However working at Amazon for nine months, he got the idea to start something new that would motivate him and that is how the foundation of Flipkart was laid. While Binny and Sanjay initially thought of starting a comparison search engine, they realized that the market for E-commerce in India was very small. They recognised the potential in the market and started developing Flipkart as an e-commerce company after leaving Amazon in 2007.
Growth and Initial Investment
Initially, the company focused on online book sales with country-wide shipping. Following its launch, Flipkart slowly grew in prominence; by 2008, it was receiving 100 orders per day. The brand grew significantly years after years. Initially, the entrepreneurs spent INR 4,00,000 (US$ 5,800) on developing the site. It further raised funding from venture capital funds Accel India amounted US$ 1 million in 2009 and Tiger Global in 2010 for amount US$10 million.
The brand significantly declared its further investment as on 24 August 2012 it announced the completion of its 4th round of US$150 million funding from MIH (part of Naspers Group) and ICONIQ Capital and on 10 July 2013 announced that it has raised an additional US$200 million from existing investors including Tiger Global, Naspers, Accel Partners and Iconiq Capital.
Big Billion Days
The company honoured its anniversary and Diwali (a Hindu festival) season, held a major sale across the service that is promoted as “Big Billion Day” on 6th October 2014. The event turned out to be a key factor in bringing traffic to the website selling US$100 million worth of goods in 10 hours.
Binny became the CEO of the company and started working on strategic development, direction and business management. In 2017, he assumed the role of CEO of Flipkart Group after handing over the responsibilities of CEO, Flipkart to Kalyan Krishnamurthy. In 2018, following the acquisition deal of $16 billion by Walmart where it acquired 77% of stake in Flipkart, Binny assumed the role of chairman and continued to serve as Group CEO. The deal made it to the headlines being the world’s largest e-commerce deal. Bansal’s 5.5% stake in Flipkart was valued at $1 billion after the acquisition.
Recognising the Inspiring Leader
Along with being an inspiration for many entrepreneurs, the visionary has been recognised by various organizations including Entrepreneur of the Year 2012–2013 from The Economic Times, a leading Indian economic daily newspaper.
In September 2015, both the entrepreneurs entered Forbes India Rich List debuting at the 86th position with a net worth of $1.3 billion each. In April 2016, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal were named to Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People.