Who is Binny Bansal? Some Insights Into The Co-founder of Flipkart

Who is Binny Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart and what did he do at the company?

4 min read
Binny Bansal quit from his role at Flipkart on Tuesday.

Binny Bansal, the other co-founder of Flipkart, had put in his papers at the company on Tuesday due to ongoing investigations over allegations of misconduct. Sachin Bansal had already quit from his role earlier this year, but his was a mutual decision that did not entail any controversy.

Flipkart co-founder, Binny Bansal talked of this being a "very emotional moment", at a select media briefing on Thursday, 10 May.

The Bansals, although not related despite a common surname, started Flipkart after leaving their secure roles at Amazon in the United States. However, there’s very little that we know about Binny Bansal, the person, who we’ve hardly come across at media or Flipkart events.

Here’s a quick look at what Binny was handling at the e-commerce giant and his background.

How it Started

Flipkart came into existence after two bright-eyed young engineers met in IIT-Delhi in 2005. They knew how Jeff Bezos had created Amazon by selling books online. In October 2007, they launched Flipkart, a simple website of book titles, and started delivering to buyers, going door to door on two-wheelers.

They shipped 20 orders in their first year. Before long, a private-equity fund knocked with a $1 million investment. Many also say that during Flipkart’s initial days, Binny and Sachin would be involved in delivering of the books, on a rotation basis on a two-wheeler.

Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal (right)
Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal (right)
(Photo: Flipkart)

Since then, Binny ‘s role had evolved from being a co-founder of one of India’s up and coming e-commerce portals to that of managing the logistics for its warehouse inventory.

What Did He Do

He’s always been known as the quieter one among the Bansals, which ensured that Sachin became the front-end for the company, as a representative, while Binny did the leg work for its operations.

According to this report, he is also credited with setting up Flipkart’s delivery arm called E-Kart back in 2010 and ensured that its supply chain ecosystem was functioning effectively.

His strategy processes also included debuting the industry-first cash-on-delivery option back when Flipkart operated in a smaller capacity, being a bookseller, before it went full-throttle across segments.

The Man Given the Mantle

Flipkart Office in Bengaluru. 
Flipkart Office in Bengaluru. 
(Photo: Reuters)

In 2016, Flipkart was bracing for a full-blown assault from Amazon, which played a big role in creation of its shopping days with big discounts.

This lead to a downturn for the company, even after earning big money, mostly because all this was borne out of heavy investments from players like Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners among others.

As Flipkart’s growth took a nosedive, the management decided to throw over the reigns of the company to Binny, who was then tasked with improving the company’s fortunes, in a market where the online shopping boom was just getting started.

This ensured Binny became the CEO, replacing Sachin, in the hope that Flipkart could change its fortunes.

The Bansals Made Walmart Happen

The Walmart-Flipkart deal could change the Indian e-commerce scenario. 
The Walmart-Flipkart deal could change the Indian e-commerce scenario. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Things weren’t going according to plan, and that is likely to have prompted Sachin and Binny to look at contingency options to thwart the danger of Amazon taking over the Indian market.

In comes Walmart, and reports point out that, it was both the Bansals who took it upon themselves to convince the American retail giant to not only invest, but put in all its bets on the Indian e-commerce brand. Little would they have known, this would be the beginning of the end for them at their own creation.

Binny - Walmart and VC's Choice

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Flipkart Co-Founder and CEO Binny Bansal. 
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Flipkart Co-Founder and CEO Binny Bansal. 
(Photo: Flipkart)

Once the Flipkart-Walmart deal came through, it was now time to freeze on the person who would spearhead the company’s direction for the future. And both Walmart and Flipkart’s VCs preferred Binny to be the man. He is part of the board, where most of the representatives belong to Walmart.

This could also be the reason behind Walmart deciding to give Binny a ceremonious exit from the company, while still letting him be a part of the board, according to this report.

Clearly, Binny Bansal is a man who let his work do the talking. But then even he won’t be spared the consequences of alleged misconduct.

(With inputs from Business Standard)

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