In my mind, these guys were setting themselves up for failure for a long time.
Here are my top 10 reasons for why flipkart will fail*. In the true spirit of random 10 points to support my argument, i am taking the liberty to generalise a lot of things. And make some up. Anyways, here it goes.
#10. Having the guts to dream big from an apartment in National Games Village, Koramangala. I met one of the founders, Sachin at the Unpluggd event. They were already kicking ass then. And continued to kick ass. While the rest of us are sitting on ours.
#9. Everytime i order something from flipkart, the minute i hit the submit button, i expect the door bell to ring, and Rajni Saar standing with my order at the door. Why? Because it is possible to even think like that today, because of flipkart. By the way, it will be pretty neat to get Rajni Saar to be the brand ambassador for them. Mind It.
#8. Building a culture. Its not just another company, there is a strong culture, which doesnt accept all types of people. Tough luck. Culture should be as much about who is not welcome, as it is about who is included. But then again, Culture vulture theek hai, paisa kab banayega.
#7. Making delivery rock. They could have just said -“Hey ram, this delivery system is not working for us. SOrry customerji, its not our problem, please speak to courier uncle”. Heck no, they went out and said, lets fix this. How do they do it? Like one of our investors told us “pull your chaddi on your pants and become superman”. These guys did pull their chaddis and became supermen. They built a whole new courier system. And spawned a few new ones.
#6. Hiring great people from IIT Delhi instead of IIPM, Delhi. And creating “Ghetto culture”.
#5. Across India, every high school kid is now dreaming of cracking JEE to join “Jwalamukhi” hostel at IITD. How cool is to name a hostel “Jwalamukhi”. Ours was called “Anand”. No startups came out of ours.
#4. Amazon se takkar. WTF? Jwalamukhi ke Chaatron ne “Amazon” ko “Junglee” bana diya.
#3. Making “Bansals” look cool. Again. Have you noticed how many ecom companies sprung up with Bansal last name in the last three years?
#2. Creating a much needed pointless question for Indian startups to answer as part of their pitch – “Are you the next flipkart?”
#1. Having the balls to shake up every other startup’s balls. When was the last time you heard of a five year old company grow like crazy, delight customers, build team, scale, build a whole distribution system, put tv ads and commanding a 1B $ valuation. To show others how its done. To open our eyes, and mind and hearts to whats possible. And to put “balls” back into startups.
*Please note i am not claiming that i understand their industry well. Hell, Am not even sure if i understand my “own” industry that well either.