Started in 2007 by two friends, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal Bengaluru-based Flipkart is today India’s largest ecommerce company with a valuation of nearly $15 billion. But, the Bansals, who aren't related, had no clue then that in less than a decade they would be able to achieve such size and scale and emerge as the poster boys of India’s e-commerce juggernaut.
“Our initial business plan to investors (Accel Partners) was that we would be a $100 million company in five to 10 years,” said Sachin Bansal, executive chairman of Flipkart at the concluding session at SURGE, a two-day startup and technology conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Sachin Bansal admitted that since the beginning he and Binny Bansal were clear who they wanted to hire. “We choose who we wanted to work with and we never lowered the bar for talent. There were clear boundaries and constraints that we put on ourselves and as a startup it is very hard to take that call,” said Sachin. This was at a time when startups didn’t have the ‘cool status’, adds Sachin.
ALSO READ: Forbes India Rich List 2015
Getting the right investors was another factor that worked in favour of the company. “Due to circumstances we were in a situation where we were able to choose our investors. That really worked well for us,” said Sachin at the conference.
In a major management restructuring last month, Flipkart named Sachin Bansal as its new executive chairman, while Binny Bansal, co-founder and chief operating officer took over the reins as the new CEO of the company. ALSO READ: 'Mukesh Bansal's exit from Flipkart was inevitable'
Last year, Indian e-commerce added its first billionaires to the Forbes India Rich List
, with Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal making their debut on the 2015 list at No. 86 with a net worth of $1.3 billion each. Despite that achievement, both the Bansals are said to be very grounded.
And as Sachin admits, “We ensured that we always remained grounded and didn't become arrogant. We never thought that we could move a lot of things just because people say we are great.” A similar attitude is reflected in the way they have run their business.
“I’ve always stayed open to change and to learn and to keep that attitude alive. That’s very important because it is very easy to lose that. When you starting becoming unapproachable you start coming across as someone who knows everything and can’t be questioned. People then stop talking to you and giving you feedback,” said Flipkart’s billionaire founder.