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The outbreak of the COVID19 epidemic has had numerous repercussions across diverse industries around the globe that range from educational, health, retail, transport , and the tourism industry. However, when we bring into the focus of the industry of E-Commerce and the implications of the lockdown, we see that the effects of the ban has been generally favourable for this particular sector in particular and also for those who are involved in it, whether either directly or in indirect ways, opening the possibility of opportunities for this booming industry.
The pandemic has destroyed nearly everything we do and our daily lives, the dependence of shoppers on shopping online has grown tenfold in the last decade as it’s no longer an option, but an absolute necessity. With the advent of COVID-19 the shocking majority of shoppers have turned toward online shopping as their preferred option due to its accessibility as well as convenience and security aspect.
One of the most prominent online retailers which has seen its growth increase in the midst of this epidemic has been the Flipkart. In 2007, it was an online bookshop that was located in an apartment with two bedrooms situated in Koramangala, Bengaluru, the company has since grown to become one of the largest businesses in India and has become an inspirational illustration of the magnitude of success enjoyed by Indian startups companies.
The Flipkart Story
“We did not think about numbers at the time but we did know that the possibility of building something huge from the e-commerce market.”– Binny Bansal as well as Sachin Bansal, the co-founders of Flipkart.
Flipkart is one of India’s most popular online marketplaces for e-commerce. It was launched in October 2007 and has its headquarters in Bengaluru. The company was established by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, this online business was initially started as an online bookshop, but as the fame of the company increased, it expanded and expanded its operations.
The marketplace began selling various other products, including phones, music, and even movies. E-commerce is rapidly changing the world of retail, and growing across India, Flipkart Mobile expanded at the speed of light, constantly adding diverse new categories of products within its catalog.
Today, the company offers more than 80 million products that span over 80 categories, including mobile phones and accessories, laptops, computers as well as books and e-books. electronic items, home appliances clothing and accessories fitness and sports games for babies, and accessories, toys, footwear, Jewellery and more.
In November 2020, according to Walmart, Flipkart registered a record amount of active monthly customers. To ensure timely delivery to its customer base currently, the company leases more than 1 million sq. feet in various regions, which includes Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and many more.
Flipkart was established by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Both, graduates of 2005 at IIT Delhi, were officially introduced to the retail industry during their time for Amazon. They had a meeting at work and discussed their common desire to bring about changes in the industry of e-commerce in India.
The two quit their positions with Amazon in 2007 and set the goal of creating an online retailer to that they had worked at, but with a focus on the Indian customer base. The two wanted to offer Indians an online shop that was established in India which resulted in the development of what we are now able to call Flipkart.
Flipkart Business Model
More than 150 million items across more than 80 different categories Flipkart is one of the leading e-commerce firms across the country.
The platform utilizes social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube as well as Instagram to promote their products. Since it is it is a business-to- Consumer model company It gives its customers the option of choosing their products and sellers from a variety of choices.
With customers becoming increasingly dependent on shopping online and the ease it offers the retail industry online is poised to expand further in the near future with Flipkart trying to make the most of this trend in their favor.
One of the main USP of this platform is the pricing. It is known for its branded goods with more or less affordable costs. Apart from that customers also enjoy interesting discounts and benefits. Other advantages include it’s cash on delivery (COD) feature and its refund policy and its customer support.
The platform offers a huge range of items that span from basic appliances to premium cosmetics. This has made shopping experience fairly easy and seamless for its customers. Additionally, there are items that have been given an Flipkart Assured badge. This means that they have been examined and double-checked to guarantee higher safety and high-quality.
The Evolution of Flipkart
The Flipkart’s Acquisitions
In the year 2009 onwards, Flipkart established additional centres to be found in Mumbai and Delhi in addition to their main location in Bangalore. Flipkart began its acquisition spree in 2014 when it bought Myntra in the amount of $400 million. Then, in 2016 the company took up to acquire the fashion site Jabong for 70 million dollars. The company bought the payment site PhonePe and also the e-commerce giant eBay.
The platform also unification the company’s Bangalore offices into one large campus covering 8.3 lakh square feet. The year 2011 was the first time Flipkart established a branch in Singapore.
In the year 2018, Flipkart was acquired by Walmart with 77% of the website now owned by Walmart, the US retailer.
Since its inception until the year 2016 Sachin Bansal served as Chief Executive Officer of Flipkart. Since 2016, Binny Bansal took over as CEO, and Sachin as the Chairman Executive. The current CEO of the company is Kalyan Krishnamurthy who is a Tiger Global executive.
The most significant moment of change for Flipkart was when it was purchased by Walmart. The company has experienced huge development and growth from the moment it was launched in 2007, triggering the rise of numerous companies in the country. The platform has managed to broaden its product categories, from the only classification of literature to include millions of products with various sections.
This has played a significant contribution to boosting the faith of investors from both countries in Indian companies. According to the latest news as reported via TechCrunch, Flipkart will acquire Walmart’s Indian wholesale business for cash and carry in order to focus on expanding its services for mom-and-pop shops.
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Flipkart is also announcing the launch into Flipkart Wholesale in the deal.
Recently, the company launched the delivery service in a hyperlocal, 90-minute time known as Flipkart Quick in Bengaluru across categories like mobiles, groceries electronics, household accessories. Through this service the company has ventured into categories such as fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to milk and meat via its marketplace.
The platform also has invested in the supply chain company Ninjacart along with other local businesses with the aim of creating a more supportive ecosystem. It also brought in logistics company Shadowfax to provide last-mile support to Flipkart Quick.
According to a statement issued by Flipkart which was published to The Economic Times, the company recently exceeded 1.5 billion monthly visits, and also reported a growth of 45% for its active customers per month along with an increase of 30% in the number of transactions per customer during in 2020’s fiscal year.
Flipkart currently has an estimated value of $24.9 billion dollars in 2020.
The initial investment of the company was a gift from the founders themselves, and was five thousand dollars. After this came the acquisition by Accel Indiaand Tiger Globalamong which, Tiger Global remains a important investor in the business.
Some of the most prominent investors in the platform are eBay, Axis Bank, Manhattan Venture Partners, Naspers as well as Softbank Vision Fund. The turning point that was the most important for the platform came when it was acquired by Walmart in the amount of the sum of $16 billion in the form of Walmart purchasing 77% of the business.
According to NDTV Gadgets 360. Flipkart’s latest financing was $1.2 billion (roughly 948 crores or Rs. 948 crore) it acquired in a recent equity round directed by its majority shareholder which is Walmart. US internet giant Walmart. The newly acquired funds will be invested in two phases over the course of the rest of the fiscal year, the company announced.
The platform is currently seeking to secure at minimum 3 billion dollars from its investors such as SoftBank Group Corp. and several sovereign wealth funds at the time of June 2021.
Flipkart has received $560.45 Million by acquiring $560.45 million from Walmart in its $1.2 billion round that it revealed in the month of July.
The popularity of online shopping services increasing exponentially over the last few weeks, Flipkart shows a huge chance of gaining steady popularity and establishing a successful story that is talked about and remembered by young entrepreneurial entrepreneurs in the coming years.