Flipkart is an Indian eCommerce company headquartered in Bangalore and founded by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal in 2007. Flipkart started as an online book retailer but soon branched out into consumer electronics, fashion, groceries, and home essentials. Today, Flipkart is the largest eCommerce site in India where it does battle with the Amazon-owned platform Snapdeal. The company and its subsidiaries secured an impressive 60% of the total market share during the Indian festive sales period in late 2021.
Myntra is a fashion eCommerce company founded by Mukesh Bansal, Vineet Saxena, and Ashutosh Lawania in 2007.
Myntra initially offered a personalized gift service for B2B customers selling shirts, mousepads, and mugs. Four years later, however, it transitioned to fashion and lifestyle products with more than 350 brands available by 2012.
Flipkart acquired the company in 2014 in a deal worth approximately $330 million. Myntra continues to operate as a standalone brand for fashion-conscious consumers.
PhonePe is a financial services and digital payments company that was founded in 2015 by Sameer Nigam, Burzin Engineer, and Rahul Chari.
The PhonePe app is one of several to utilize the United Payments Interface (UPI) system developed to facilitate P2P and P2M transactions.
The app is available in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil, with users able to send and receive money, recharge mobile credit, purchase insurance, and pay their utility bills, to name a few features.
Ekart is an Indian courier delivery company that ships the majority of orders that occur on Flipkart’s eCommerce platform.
The company claims to be the largest end-to-end logistics and supply chain fulfillment business in India. It has a focus on consistency and excellence in customer service, reliability, and the ability to deliver at scale.
Upstream Commerce is an Israeli-based analytics startup that was acquired by Flipkart in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.
The move enabled Flipkart to establish a presence in one of the world’s most innovative startup ecosystems and develop data science to help it better manage its eCommerce pursuits.
Announcing the deal, Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy noted that while the company had created its own seller pricing algorithms, Upstream Commerce would strengthen its capabilities and “be able to provide them (sellers) with automated pricing and help plan better selection in the most accurate, timely, and profitable way.”
Ugenie is a comprehensive membership software solution for community-centric businesses such as coaches, entrepreneurs, academies, non-profits, and associations.
Features across various paid plans include branded websites and apps, community creation and management, email notifications, business analytics, GDPR compliance, and secret group functionality.
Ugenie became a Flipkart subsidiary after the company purchased the California-based social book discovery tool weRead.com. This acquisition, which occurred in 2010, was Flipkart’s first.
Inside Flipkart’s business model: the Indian Amazon!
Flipkart can be defined as the Indian Amazon, as it shares many of the features of Amazon’s business model.
Some of the distinguishing elements of the Flipkart business model are:
Flipkart operates a marketplace with two main parties: sellers and buyers.
As a platform, Flipkart operates as a facilitator enabling transactions between sellers and buyers and, as a result of it taking a cut on each sale (take rate).
Most items sold on Flipcart are third-party, meaning those are not owned by the company, which works primarily as a digital middleman between those two parties.
Just like Amazon’s mission emphasizes a wide variety of products at reasonable prices.
So Flipkart offers various products in various categories (such as electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, and more).
Flipkart’s flywheel is based on enabling more and more third-party sellers to list their items on top of the e-commerce platform and facilitate those sales.
Like Amazon, whose primary mission is to provide a wide selection of items in any category at a competitive price, Flipkart also emphasizes that.
The company also works with sellers to enable a promotions and discounts strategy to attract more and more customers to the platform, making the platform more interesting for sellers.
Once more sellers join the platform, more items are available at a more reasonable price; this is the essence of Amazon’s flywheel model, which Flipkart has borrowed from.
Just like Amazon’s business model, where wide selection, reasonable prices, and great customer experience (through, for instance, fast delivery).
Also, Flipkart offers fast delivery options to customers through its logistics network and partnerships with third-party delivery companies.
Flipkart, like Amazon, has built a set of fulfillment centers across India to make delivery fast and convenient.
Payment and customer service
To complete the picture of Flipkart’s business model is critical to look at easy payment solutions and great customer service as key elements to enhance its flywheel!
Indeed, Flipkart provides various payment options for customers (including cash on delivery, credit and debit card, and digital payments).
And a dedicated customer service team to handle requests from customers.
- Flipkart is an Indian eCommerce company headquartered in Bangalore and founded by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal in 2007. Today, Flipkart is the largest eCommerce site in India where it does battle with the Amazon-owned platform Snapdeal.
- Flipkart subsidiaries include fashion eCommerce company Myntra and financial services company PhonePe. The company also acquired courier service Ekart which handles the delivery of online orders.
- Flipkart acquired Upstream Commerce in 2018 to establish a presence in the innovative Israel startup scene and develop better data-driven pricing algorithms. Community membership software platform Ugenie was part of Flipkart’s first acquisition in 2010.
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