The Flipkart story!

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How many of us could name one online retailing indigenous company before 2007 and before Flipkart happened.

Yet in 2007, a revolution raged, not in the technology or in the products but in the delivery of products and services, demonstrating an era of the beginning of online retailing, a vision to empower customers like never before.

Flipkart was born out of an embryonic idea of two fellow IIT Delhi graduates, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who left their jobs at Amazon to change the way India shops. Flipkart started with books, but now deals in 12 product categories.The company stocks nearly 11.5 million titles, making them the largest book retailer in India. “As per the data, we have 80 percent share of the online book market”, Sachin Bansal says. The company also claims to ship 20 units a minute. Flipkart expects to cross the $100 million mark in the revenue this year.

Fueled by their vision, they pioneered the crying need of online retail services in India by following two simple yet crucial steps:

1.Sell Quality and Sell Cheap

2.Pay Cash on Delivery

Today Flipkart is one of the fastest growing e-commerce sites of India, selling books, handsets, consumer electronics, movie DVDs, etc. It is rapidly expanding its network of warehouses, distribution centers, procurement operations and 24/7 customer support teams. The span of operations is set to grow from 5 warehouses and 35 delivery centers to 25 warehouses and more than 60 delivery centers across the country.

Recent Developments: After raising $31 million from Tiger Global Management LLC and Accel Partners, the company is now looking to acquire firms to complement its current services and products offerings. It has acquired recently Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site that offers updates, news, photos and videos.

It is also raising between $150 million and $200 million from private equity firms Carlyle and General Atlantic, according to a Reuters report.

It has also launched a new Wallet feature that allows shoppers to add credit to their Flipkart account which can be utilized to make purchases on the site, as and when required.
The Wallet can be topped up to Rs 10,000 using regular payment options like credit card, net banking, and debit cards. As and when the purchases are made, the balance shall be deducted off the Wallet. The major advantage of this system is that the customer does not have to fill in the bank details every time he/she buys a book.

Cultural change: An exponential rise in the internet users (close to 100 million in 2011) and the change in the customers’ perception towards online retailing have acted as favorable wind fanning the fiery success of this firm. This trend is expected to continue in the future as well.

Conclusion: Flipkart has picked the right nerve of the Indian consumer and made him “e-retailophillic”!!  Going by its current success, it won’t be long when it will be counted among the top companies of India in terms of revenue, customer satisfaction, and supply chain innovations…

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“Live with passion”, remarks Tony Robbins; “Don’t just chug along the way” is my addition to his words!

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