“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses” — Abraham Lincoln.
For now, the Indian ecommerce industry seems to be as divided on the impact of the Flipkart-Walmart deal as Lincoln’s quote above is on roses and thorns. However, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Flipkart exit, at $16 Bn valuation, is a moment of pride for the country’s entire startup ecosystem.
The fabled tale of two IIT graduates who left their jobs in Amazon to start an online bookstore with a capital of $5.9K (INR 4 Lakh) and turned it into a company with a valuation of more than $10 Bn in a span of 11 years has been told and retold numerous times. However, the Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, and the ‘Flipkart Group’ have an identity greater than this.
It’s a company which made Indians trust online shopping.
A company which carved out a place in the hearts of Indians with its witty advertisements.
A company where the founder went from door to door as a “Wishmaster” to give customer Big Billion Day surprises.
A company in which the two founders created their own mafia of startup entrepreneurs, who lead their way to more than 250 startups in the country.
A company which planted its roots at 447-C, 12th Main, Koramangala in Bengaluru and branched out to 11 offices spread across Koramangala, ORR, and Hosur Road in the city before finally moving to one campus, spread across 8.3 Lakh Sq Ft in the Embassy Tech Village (ETV).
We at Inc42 felt it only befitting of the moment to take our readers through the 11-year journey of the poster boy of Indian ecommerce. But, before we dive into Flipkart’s exhaustive (and that’s an understatement) timeline for the period between September 2007 and May 2018, here’s a glimpse of the era in which Flipkart made its humble beginning — inspirational enough for any startup to think beyond and into the future.