Flipkart has touched the sky with its prosperous success and is a great successful start-up to motivate others to think out of the box ideas and develop this sphere. It started with a thought like all the businesses are started, but what differentiates a successful business model with a non-successful business model is the determination and the hard work of the founders of the business. Mr. Sachin Bansal and Mr. Binny Bansal, alumni of Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) come up with an e-commerce company, Flipkart.
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All this was started in October two thousand seven as an electronic bookstore and later diversified into electronics, wellness, clothes, watches, electrical appliances, etc.Through change in taste of consumers shifting towards online shopping from old traditional shopping methods, many investors started invest in Flipkart like: Accel Partners, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Tiger Global Management LLC, etc.
Flipkart has been on the game for more than eleven years and has its ups and down throughout throughout this phase. As Indian e-commerce's biggest success story celebrates the crowning moment of its journey so far, an acquisition of sixteen billion dollars by Walmart, the world's largest retailer, in the biggest merger and acquisition deal ever in the Indian start-up ecosystem.
Journey of Flipkart
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who initially met in two thousand five at IIT Delhi launched an internet based business called Flipkart on September 15 2007. Initially flipkart was an online bookstore that delivered books anywhere across India. The company being a small scale start-up faced lot of difficulties in the delivery of books.
With positive word-of-mouth and rapid publicity, Flipkart boomed into the e-commerce market. The company inaugurated its first office in Koramangala. Sachin and Binny also started a 24x7 customer service to deal with the platform’s growing consumer base.
The company’s exponential growth attracted many venture capitals. Accel Partners invested $1 million and became the first venture capital firm to invest in the company. This investment helped Flipkart to expand itself by opening offices in Delhi and Mumbai and also increasing the employees to one-fifty.
Flipkart understood the predominance of cash in the Indian Consumer’s life, keeping this in mind it introduced Cash on delivery as a payment option where the consumer would pay for the order upon his/her doorstep. In the same year it also launched Ekart, the logistics department of the company led by Vinoth Poovalingam. Ekart handled and satisfied the logistical needs of new payment options and growing demand for goods.
To increase the trust of consumers on e-commerce market, Flipkart introduced a 30-day return policy and also expanded itself by introducing new product categories like music, movies, games, electronics and mobile. The company also made its first purchase which was a social book recommendation portal We Read.
In the year two thousand eleven Flipkart continued its growth and expanded further, penetrating into multiple market categories like Cameras, Computer, Laptop, Large Appliances, Health, Personal Care and stationary. It also launched its own digital wallet and a 30 - day replacement policy. By the end of 2011 Flipkart had expanded its network and started to deliver in 600 cities pan India.
Major Reasons for Flipkart’s Success
Capturing a niche segment: Entering the field of online sales at the right time in the country. There was negligible competition in the field and it was the need of the hour for a large working population.
Energetics and Like-minded promoters: The promoters being IIM Alumnae had the right background to enter a technology heavy field and had already cut their teeth in a similar venture of world-wide repute viz. Amazon.
Successful in obtaining long term funding regularly: Venture capitalists were very willing to fund such projects which were both green field and tech dependent and funding came almost instantly to the allowing the Company to grow in leaps and bounds.
Strategizing and experimental: The Company was experimental and willing to change track if something did not work. It abandoned the online music store Flyte in 2013 when the services were not successful and got into bigtime in apparel business through Myntra which caters to an upscale client ale. It was futuristic enough to realize the potential of electronics especially mobiles and has several exclusive launches of Motorola and Redmi phones to its credit in 2013 to 2014 onwards. This model was adopted by several of online Companies which came in later.
Path-Breaking concepts: The company is a pioneer in the concept of spectacular sales especially close to festivals like Diwali is also attributed to Flipkart. On sixth of October twenty- fourteen, 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-one-hundred- million worth of goods in ten hours.
Focus on Customers: The company has devised a customer friendly interface for its App and the website called Flipkart Lite. It has taken care to see that there are no more glitches even when the traffic load is heavy and relies on timely delivery and return policies to keep the buyers happy.
First advantage of Move: Flipkart continues to enjoy the memory of the most important brand when it comes to buying books. Other portals are still struggling to register their brands in the consumer's mind. Over the years, Flipkart has grown rapidly; Now they sell electronic products to mobiles to household appliances.
Cash on delivery: One area where Flipkart has scored well is to read the mind of the Indian virtual consumers. Although the e-commerce users have matured, a large segment still hesitates to carry out credit / debit card transactions. Cash on delivery makes the task much easier for the consumers.
Easy to buy: This makes the user buy a product without registering and remember another password online. In addition, you get a 15-20% discount on each purchase of books and free shipping for each order of more than Rs 200. I can tell from my own experience that the delivery is super-fast if the product is in stock.