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December 12, 2010

Businessworld profile of online retailer Flipkart

From the article

Flipkart is now the undisputed leader in the online books retail category; it sells an average 5,000 titles every day, against a couple of thousand by Infibeam. But the ride has been bumpy. Initially, Binny and Sachin approached 15 publishers, out of which only two agreed to associate with them. It took them 10 days to sell the first book, remembers Sachin. Today, Flipkart has 500 publishers onboard and another 200 publishers are waiting to tie up with them. “It took us one year to get 15-20 publishers to be on our platform, but today we have a huge back-log. Initially, we chased them and now they chase us,” exclaims Binny.

...Flipkart has been growing exponentially and expects sales to cross Rs 100 crore this fiscal, from just Rs 5 crore in 2008-09 and Rs 20 crore in 2009-10. In comparison, Rediff does about Rs 60 crore of home-shopping business. Flipkart is also increasing its investment in infrastructure, and the number of warehouses will increase from the current four to 10 in a couple of years.

...a book ordered from Flipkart is sold by them — almost like an online version of a bookstore. Flipkart only sells its own warehoused products and is completely inventory managed. While it stocks books that have a high demand, others are sourced from the supplier only when it receives an order for them.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at