An interview with Sachin Bansal Co-founder & CEO, Flipkart:
On Flipkart’s new valuation of $7 billion even as the company continues to make losses:
Profitability is a long-term goal for us. We are fortunate that our investors recognise that e-commerce is a long-term game and are willing to work with us in expanding the business instead of pushing us towards short-term gains. We have 22 million users today. The day when we would have 100 million customers and be delivering products to one in three Indian homes, we will think about profitability.
On Amazon’s aggressive plans for India:
Wireless Internet penetration and e-commerce in India are growing rapidly and there are several entrepreneurs with promising ideas who need capital to develop those ideas. Investors have identified this potential and are willing to make big bets on organisations with great concepts. As outside investors look to deploy capital in India, we’re confident that as a local entrepreneurial company Flipkart has the advantage of being on the ground and be better connected to the market we serve.
On Flipkart’s future investment plans:
Our main focus will be to build and strengthen the overall e-commerce ecosystem. Considering that there will be more than half a billion Internet users in the country in the next four or five years, a lot of commerce and shopping will move online. We want to enable lakhs of sellers and entrepreneurs to transact online as much as possible. Before that we need to fix the ecosystem around logistics, payments, packaging, cataloguing, etc. We will also be investing in technology and increase our focus on mobile commerce as we see a lot of growth there. We will also be expanding our categories over the next 18 months.