Business / Industries

India's smarter-shopping Phenom

By Emanuel John in Kolkata For China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-05 10:14

Co-founder of online retailer Flipkart picked the right moment

'The vision was always to be the Amazon of India."

So says Sachin Bansal, CEO and cofounder of Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce platform that has rapidly become one of Asia's great success stories.

Jack Ma, founder of China's Alibaba, is, unsurprisingly, also a major inspiration for the young entrepreneur, who says that there are "a lot of things to learn from Chinese Internet companies".

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In just a few years, Bansal's self-proclaimed "obsession with satisfaction" and belief that the "customer is god" have taken the startup from modest beginnings to India's largest online retailer.

For the 37-year-old co-founder and CEO of Flipkart, Bansal's story owes everything to risk taking, innovative thinking and acting fast on market potential.

Flipkart, which boasts a catalogue of about 10 million books and also sells electronics, music, movies, computers and peripherals, is "primarily a technology company powering India's leading e-commerce marketplace", Bansal says.

E-commerce in India is "witnessing a boom" like never before, he says. Last year, the industry is estimated to have grown a staggering 88 percent, to $16 billion. "What began as a promising industry five to six years back is finally beginning to display the potential we always knew it had."

In early 2011, when Bansal and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal (not related) predicted their company will hit $1 billion in gross merchandise volume by 2015, many believed they had set their sights too high.

But the company has already hit that target. "That means that Flipkart has grown 100 percent in the past three years," Sachin Bansal says. "This growth mirrors the kind of scale the industry as a whole has been witnessing."

The Bansals, both from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, met while studying computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.

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