Sachin Bansal is a well-known Indian entrepreneur and the co-founder of Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce platform. He founded Flipkart in 2007 with his friend Binny Bansal (not related) as an online bookstore with a $4,000 investment. He was Flipkart's CEO and chairman until 2018, when he sold his 5.5 percent stake to Walmart for $1 billion and left the company. He is currently the managing director of Navi Technologies, a financial services firm that aims to provide middle-class customers with affordable and accessible products. He is also an active angel investor in several startups, including Ola, Ather Energy, Unacademy, and SigTuple. According to Forbes, his current net worth is $1.3 billion as of July 2021.
Childhood and education:
Sachin Bansal was born in Chandigarh, India on August 5, 1981. His father was a businessman, and his mother was a stay-at-home mom. He was a bright student and a gamer since his days at St. Anne's Convent School. He considered abandoning his engineering seat to pursue a career in gaming, but instead enrolled in Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and graduated in 2005 as a computer science engineer. He worked at Techspan and Amazon before leaving to launch his own company, Flipkart, in 2007.
Flipkart was founded in October 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal with an initial capital of $4,000,000. They began operations in an apartment in Koramangala, Bangalore, India. Sachin Bansal oversaw all business details in the first few months, from building the first version of their website to sourcing books to packing and delivering them. Later, they expanded their product lines to include electronics, fashion, home appliances, furniture, and other items. They also implemented novel features such as cash on delivery, no-cost EMI, and simple return and exchange policies.
Flipkart quickly grew to become the market leader in the Indian e-commerce market. It purchased a number of other online platforms, including Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe, and eBay India. It also faced stiff competition from Amazon, Snapdeal, and Paytm Mall. It received funding from a variety of sources, including Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund, and Tencent Holdings. It also had to deal with regulatory obstacles, tax disputes, legal battles, and valuation markdowns.
Sachin Bansal served as CEO from its inception until 2016, and as executive chairman from 2016 to 2018. He was in charge of the company's vision and strategy, as well as leading its growth and expansion. He was also instrumental in developing the company's culture and values. He was widely regarded as one of India's most influential and successful entrepreneurs.
In 2018, Walmart paid $16 billion for a 77 percent stake in Flipkart, the world's largest deal for an internet company. Sachin Bansal cashed out, selling his minority stake in the company for $1 billion, and exited. He agreed to a non-compete clause with Walmart that barred him from starting or investing in any business that competed with Flipkart directly or indirectly for a set period of time.
Sachin Bansal founded BACQ Acquisitions Private Limited (later renamed Navi Technologies) in December 2018, a venture focused on building and acquiring technology-driven businesses in a variety of industry verticals including fintech, healthcare, education, and agriculture. He invested $100 million in Ola Cabs and joined its board of directors. He also invested in Ather Energy (an electric scooter manufacturer), SigTuple (an AI-based healthcare platform), Unacademy (an online education platform), and Zolve (a cross-border banking platform).
Navi Technologies acquired Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services (CRIDS) in 2019, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) that makes loans to low-income rural households. Sachin Bansal took over as CEO of CRIDS and rebranded the company as Navi Finserv. In addition, he established Navi Mutual Fund, Navi Lending, and Navi Health. He intended to build a full-stack financial services platform that would use technology and data to provide affordable and accessible products to middle-class customers.
Navi Technologies filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2020, ahead of an IPO. The company intended to raise Rs 4,000 crore through the IPO, making it the first Indian fintech unicorn to go public. In addition, the company released Navi, a mobile app that provided instant personal loans, credit cards, and insurance products.
"No' is a very difficult word, and more so in our culture, where people quickly tend to take offence. But a 'no' which makes your business and customer say 'yes' is worth the while." ~ Sachin Bansal
"A better service is keeping the promise you made to the customer."~ Sachin Bansal
"As a startup, you must go after the money that understands the business." ~ Sachin Bansal
"The core of any business is to earn money. You have not done your job well until you find a stranger who is willing to open his/her wallet to give you money for the services/products that you are offering. The next step after that is to focus on scaling it up well." ~ Sachin Bansal
"Don’t start alone, it helps to have a co-founder when things are not going your way." ~ Sachin Bansal
"It is no secret that the road to entrepreneurship is a lonely one. Perseverance and hard work are very important."~ Sachin Bansal
"The entrepreneur must go after solving big challenges of our time with a very high-quality understanding of their space." ~ Sachin Bansal
"Success has a thousand fathers but failure only belongs to the founders."~ Sachin Bansal
"Nobody can relate to what a founder goes through in the ups and downs of a business. But that’s how it should be. It pushes you beyond your boundaries and helps you grow." ~ Sachin Bansal
"You have to constantly pull yourselves out of the minute details, and see whether you are heading in the right direction." ~ Sachin Bansal
"Rules of Hiring #1: If there is doubt, there is no doubt. Rules of Hiring #2: Always hire people who are smarter than you." ~ Sachin Bansal
"Never hire someone to do your initial sales." ~ Sachin Bansal
"Only dead don’t change their opinions. If you have too many fixed opinions you are close to dead. Constantly challenge your assumptions and beliefs." ~ Sachin Bansal
Sachin Bansal is an inspiring example of an entrepreneur who started from the ground up and built one of India's most successful and innovative businesses. He transformed the e-commerce industry and added value to the lives of millions of customers and sellers. He also demonstrated his tenacity and drive by launching a new venture in the fintech sector after leaving Flipkart. He is a visionary leader with a strong interest in technology, gaming, and social impact. He is one of the most powerful and well-known figures in the Indian startup ecosystem.
"Age doesn’t matter if you have the attitude and drive to succeed." ~ Sachin Bansal
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