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The Flipkart Story in India: From the Start to Walmart

Thomason Rajan

Asian Journal of Management Cases, 2021, vol. 18, issue 2, 126-143

Abstract: Flipkart was launched in 2007 as an online platform for selling books by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Ten years later, the e-commerce company had 54 million active users and 100,000 plus sellers and had sold 261 million units. The founders had taken several steps to garner this growth, by making investments in technology, undertaking high-decibel advertising campaigns and promoting attractive offers on products sold on the platform. Despite the growth, the company was not making profits, and investors like Tiger Global were unhappy. Tiger Global Management brought in Kalyan Krishnamurthy to Flipkart in 2016, and a year later, Kalyan became the chief executive officer (CEO), replacing co-founder Binny who got promoted as group CEO. In May 2018, American retailer Walmart paid USD 16 billion to buy out Flipkart and in the same month, Sachin exited the venture by selling his shares for USD 1 billion. Seven months later, Binny was forced to resign on charges of personal misconduct. As these events unfolded, Flipkart was no longer the company founded by the Bansals. The case highlights critical issues in the Flipkart growth story and helps readers understand the nuances in managing stakeholders, including customers and investors.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; startup growth; startup profits; e-commerce India; startup marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0972820120914526

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