Monday, September 12, 2011

Flipkart tries to outdo Amazon

When they were starting out, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal would get on a motorbike to make the rounds of book warehouses across Bangalore, ride back to their two-bedroom apartment and package orders for online customers.

It was a humble beginning for two former software developers for who set out in 2007 to beat their one-time employer at its own game long before Amazon entered India.

“We were doing everything ourselves for the first four to five months, from packing to shipping,” Sachin Bansal, the 30-year-old chief executive of the company they called “Flipkart”, recalled of the six months before they moved into their first office. “Because our volumes were very low, our courier partners would sometimes refuse to pick up items from our apartment.”

“So we used to get on a motorbike, hold the shipment in our hands and personally deliver them to our Bangalore clients,” he said.

In those rocky first days, Sachin Bansal said, their suppliers, seeing two youngsters who had quit stable employment with Amazon, the world’s top online retailer, to go it alone, would counsel them to get proper jobs. The two men have since been cheered at home as poster boys for entrepreneurial India, establishing their company, Flipkart, as a leader in the fledgling Indian e-commerce market.

Full report here Deccan Herald

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