We couldn’t have built on our own what Flipkart has built: Walmart CEO

We couldn’t have built on our own what Flipkart has built: Walmart CEO
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New Delhi, May 11: Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal was part of negotiations with Walmart for 2-3 months, but he finally took a personal call to part ways, Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said. Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s other co-founder and group CEO, who was also present at the interaction between McMillon and editors, said Sachin’s departure is — more than anything else — a big emotional issue for him.
He recalled how in the initial months he and Sachin would go 40-50 kilometres every day on his bike to buy books to sell on Flipkart. “It will be an understatement to say that I didn’t try to convince Sachin to stay back,” said Binny.
Sachin decided to part ways with Flipkart and sold his 5.9% stake before the deal with Walmart was sealed on Wednesday. McMillion said the US retail giant will not dictate policies at Flipkart and will rely on the management team led by Binny to chart the road ahead. “We can’t make decisions from US for the world,” McMillon said, adding that the board and Binny’s leadership team will decide the changes that have to be made. He said Walmart couldn’t have built on its own what Flipkart’s team has built as India’s most innovative and largest e-commerce platform.
He said Flipkart’s various verticals such as Myntra and PhonePe hold out huge promise. PhonePe particularly is a service that Walmart could consider taking to other countries from India.
The Walmart CEO, who was in India to sign the Flipkart deal, said the company sources 90% of its products locally across all markets and this policy fits perfectly with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Third-party estimates suggest that the Walmart-Flipkart partnership could create 10 million jobs over 10 years.
Elaborating on what the Walmart partnership offers Flipkart, Binny said the company will take more long-term decisions that were not possible to take as a VC-driven company. Flipkart will make more and bigger acquisitions in future, especially those that add to the capabilities that the company wants to build to grow.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart, said the company will look to correct the ‘bias’ in the e-commerce growth in India which has been primarily driven by electronics and fashion. He expects groceries and furniture to be among the new growth drivers for Flipkart. Binny emphasised the importance of the Walmart deal for India’s startup ecosystem.