Binny Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart recently got in talk at SAP Labs India launch of its second accelerator program. He talked about his journey of building online shopping portal Flipkart. He talked about his early life, schooling and his days at IIT Delhi. He said that he was average in studies and was more passionate about sports. When he cracked IIT Delhi, he says, in the initial days, he was keen in tech and took courses on augmented reality and machine learning.
He said, "Many of my friends were getting placed in Capital One, McKinsey. I got an offer letter from DE Shaw (investment firm). But I wanted to do something different and so came to Bangalore and worked for a tech company. It was a great place and I was learning a lot. But their applications were not ready for the market. I didn't see a future for myself there, so I quit."
He was asked about how Flikart came into existence? To this, he replied, "Because Google rejected me twice."
He agreed that working in an MNC and taking a regular salary home every month is comforting. However, he still chose to try his hands into a start up. He said, "I was getting bored. I wanted something different. I was 24, I could take risks. I was very frugal then and did the math. I wanted to be able to last 18-24 months without a regular income. I saved about Rs 4-5 lakh to start the journey. we were bootstrapped those first two-and-a half years and I was confident. If it failed, I could always go back to a tech company. My skills were not going to go away."
He further said that they wanted to design a different business model and not the shopping portal. He said, "We both (Binny and Sachin) had technical skills, so we were thinking of launching a comparison shopping engine for e-commerce. But when we were building it, we realised all the e-commerce companies back then were really bad. None of the customers liked any of them. There was no use reviewing them. Then we thought, why not build a good company. That's how the Flipkart e-commerce idea started."