In 2009, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal gave his first public talk from a stage at a product conference hosted by NextBigWhat, a product discovery platform. Ten years on, he returned to the same stage albeit in an avatar he would not have imagined back then. Bansal got a loud cheer from attendees when he walked up to the stage, and, for the first time, opened up publicly about his exit from Flipkart, following Walmart’s purchase of a 77% stake in the Indian startup for $16 billion.
In an ask-me-anything (AMA) interaction at the Unplugged conference, Bansal said his exit wasn’t planned. Walmart investment in Flipkart, the way they started was slightly different from how it ended. It started as an investment but ended as an acquisition. He said a critical question that made him decide whether to stay or move on from Flipkart was whether the startup would run as successful without him.
Essentially, at the end of the day, the 37-year-old internet billionaire said. His conclusion was that Flipkart was in a good position even though Amazon sounded like a big threat. During the AMA session, Bansal said homegrown companies like Flipkart and Ola can outdo rivals like Amazon and Uber, who are often seen as big international threats. Asked about his future plans Bansal said financial services would be broadly the next big area of focus for him, as the segment has many problems, such as what was earlier the case with online shopping.