Hailing from city like Chandigarh, this man had never dreamed of becoming such a known figure. Never was he aware that he would be known as a GODFATHER of India’s E-commerce industry. And yes you guessed it right, he is none other than the ‘Poster boy’ himself, Binny Bansal, ex-cofounder of india’s first e-commerce mart, FLIPKART!
A computer science student, Binny began his career with Sarnoff technologies, a pioneer in computer vision, in 2005 and worked there for 1.5 years. Not many are known of this bizarre fact that he tried to get in Google twice and finally landed up working in Amazon, where he met his like-minded pal, Sachin Bansal. Further, after few months both decided to resign from their hefty paychecks and decided to started Flipkart. They started this venture with their combined savings of Rs 7-8 lakh and worked out of an apartment in Koramangala. Binny disclosed it to a renowned publication, that “when we started, we had to be very frugal. Our monthly operating cost was Rs 15,000-20,000.” Binny served as the chief operating officer of Flipkart until January 2016 and was then promoted as the chief executive officer (CEO), where he oversaw strategic development, direction and business management In January 2017, he was made the Flipkart group CEO.
In May 2018, the US giant Walmart had put forth the offer of acquiring 77 percent stake in Flipkart group, to which the duo readily agreed. Today, Bansal holds the role of company’s Chairman and CEO. Binny Bansal’s departure marks the end of the journey of a man who was always referred to as “the other Bansal”, the guy who focused on the bigger vision with his counterpart. For two entrepreneurs who are widely regarded as the poster boys of India’s startup ecosystem, the way in which they have exited and ended the era of India’s ecommerce, it could not have been more unceremonious.
Binny Bansal, along with the other Bansal, was named as the 86thrichest person in India by Forbes India Rich List, with a total net worth of more than $1.3 billion. Even after his steady exit, Bansal is considered as a prolific startup investor, both through direct investments in companies like SigTuple, Pandorum Technologies and Ather Energy, as well as through investments in funds like India Quotient and Stellaris Venture. He’s expected to make more much investments going ahead. Having started with a single category, Flipkart today is on its own journey to compete with Amazon. According to a profile done by The Hindu on Binny Bansal on October 2018, he has been quoted saying, “It (startup journey) is a marathon. I think physical and mental fitness is very important and gives a competitive edge against [rivals]….You can run much faster. One key principle was not to run out of cash. We have been lucky to have partners (investors) like Accel, Tiger Global.”