Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal has invested Rs 150 crore (about $21 million) in homegrown ride-hailing app Ola, the first tranche of an anticipated $100 million investment in the SoftBank-backed company. According to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies and sourced from business signals platform paper.vc, the Bengaluru-headquartered company had allotted the former Flipkart CEO 70,588 shares at Rs 21,250 per share. The latest investment continues to value Ola at $5.7 billion, the same valuation it commanded after existing investor Steadview Capital pumped in over Rs 520 crore into the company earlier this month, and is part of the Bhavish Aggarwal-led company’s ongoing $1-billion Series J capital-raising round.
The founder and former CEO of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal is the man who revolutionised shopping in India. An alumnus of IIT Delhi, Sachin launched Flipkart in 2007 selling only books. Today, Flipkart is one of the largest players in the Indian e-commerce market.
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Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, along with investment banker Ankit Agarwal, has registered a new company – BAC Acquisitions Private Limited – according to data from the Registrar of Companies. Bansal had earlier exited Flipkart during the Walmart-Flipkart deal, selling his 5.5% stake in the e-commerce giant for $800mn-$1bn. Evidently, Bansal is now all geared up for a new venture.
If you look at the United States, five out of the top seven companies are tech and internet companies and a similar situation exists in China today. If India was to become a $10 trillion dollar economy in the next 20 years, the tech sector needs to play a significant role, otherwise, we run the risk of missing out as we did on the manufacturing wave. I believe we have the talent as well as a large consumer market to support the creation of internet companies. It is essential not just for one, two or three but for many more companies like Flipkart and Ola to emerge from India.
If you look at Myntra, it is now significantly a mobile company. Their dominance in the mobile app was what took away market share and growth from Jabong. Those decisions were probably right, it’s execution could have been better.
Last year could have been better. We kind of got satisfied with the customer experience we created in 2014. We could have taken our customer experience a notch higher. We could have worked more on expanding the market by bringing in newer innovation last year, which did not happen.
I do not think we were complacent. I think we faced challenges on prioritization and execution. We should have kept our momentum going on customer experience instead of saying we’ve achieved a good level so let’s focus on something else. Execution of these priorities could have been better.
We do not think much about the competition on a day-to-day basis. We have to do a good job of being the first choice of the customer and improving her or his experience, as well as growing the market. If we do these things right, market leadership, market share, profitability will naturally happen. E-commerce is a game of customer loyalty. We are not focussing on number one and number two. If we win the customers, we will automatically become number one.
We (Binny and Sachin) have discussed getting an outside CEO, even last year, but different companies have different kinds of needs. Every organization has their own growth paths. I feel that for an internet company in India, which is at a stage like ours, having a founder CEO is important. It is not a mature sector yet. There are a lot of moving parts there, the competitive landscape, investment environment keep changing quickly. Government regulations are also constantly in motion. Keeping this in mind, I think it is important for founder CEO to be in charge to go through these ups and downs.
Building Flipkart for us is a marathon and not a sprint. Of course, every festive season is super important. This is time also we spent months preparing for this season. The mood at Flipkart is very upbeat and very positive, it’s in some ways because of the season itself. The teams are supercharged to execute and as Binny says they will execute ruthlessly.
Yes, it has had an impact when it is not performance-based. It is a free world and we have to deal with it when it happens. For me to answer this effectively on why old-timers left I’ll have to go into details of each person, which won’t be fair on my part.I’m not saying that we made the best hiring choices last year, we’ve made mistakes. We have to deal with these things.