The following are the highlights of the Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, in which US-based Walmart has bought 77 per cent stake for USD 16 billion:
- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related) set up Flipkart in 2007 in Bengaluru. The duo met in 2005 at IIT-Delhi and had also worked at Amazon. Flipkart started as an online books selling platform.
- The first book sells on Flipkart’s platform – John Wood’s ‘Leaving Microsoft to Change the World’. Flipkart registered 20 shipments in the year of its debut. Flipkart hires its first full-time employee, Ambur Iyyappa.
- In October 2009, Accel Partners comes on board as an investor pumping in USD 1 million. Just months later, US hedge fund Tiger Global joins Accel to invest USD 10 million. Flipkart has raised USD 1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft, while SoftBank Vision Fund added USD 2.5 billion to its kitty last year.
- Flipkart registers in Singapore in 2011.
- In 2010, Flipkart pioneers ‘Cash on Delivery’ in India, changing the way India shops online.
- Flipkart has acquired companies like WeRead, Letsbuy, FX Mart, fashion e-tail player Myntra and UPI-based payments startup PhonePe. It also bought majority stake in companies like Jeeves and ngpay.
- 2017 turns out to be a watershed year for Flipkart as company crosses the 100 million registered users mark. Today, it has over one lakh registered sellers and 21 warehouses.
- The company undergoes management rejig. Former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy comes in as Flipkart CEO. Co-founder Binny Bansal is made Group CEO, while Sachin Bansal continues as Chairman.
- Flipkart offers to buy Snapdeal but the deal fails to fructify after the smaller rival decides to chart an independent course.
- Flipkart buys back shares worth USD 350 million from investors as a precursor to the mega-deal with Walmart.
Walmart India: Then & Now
- Walmart entered India through a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in 2007; opened its first store in India in Amritsar, Punjab in May 2009.
- Walmart India became a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc in 2014.
- Now, Walmart India owns and operates 21 omnichannel Cash and Carry stores under the brand name Best Price in nine states across the country.
- The Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart says its business in India reaches out to over one million members — small resellers and mom and pop stores, hotels, restaurants, offices and institutions.
- Walmart India opens first Fulfillment Center (FC) in Mumbai in November 2017.
- Besides Cash and Carry business, other Walmart businesses in India include Global Sourcing Centre in Bangalore (procures non-food products from Indian manufacturers for 13 of its global markets) and Walmart Labs (the Bangalore technology hub started in November 2011 that focuses on developing cutting-edge solutions, retail technology).
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