The Bansals launched Flipkart in 2007 as the "Amazon of India". It was valued at close to $21 billion as Walmart on Wednesday bought 77% stake in it for $16 billion. While Binny decided to continue with the company, 36-year-old Sachin exited.
It's a very emotional moment for all of us: Binny
Recalling the Flipkart journey, Binny said, "It's a very emotional moment for all of us. Sachin and I go a long way. We met in 2005 when we were passing out of IIT."
"Both of us moved to Bangalore. We were a group of 8 friends from IIT-Delhi and we used to hang out together all the time...we were best of friends," he added.
Binny wished the best for Sachin's future endeavors
"I think both of us have been sort of a pillar of support to each other," Binny said, wishing Sachin Bansal very best for his future endeavors.
Sachin said his work at Flipkart "is done"
In a Facebook post, Sachin said his work at Flipkart "is done" and "it's time to hand over the baton and move on."
After moving to Bengaluru, Sachin joined Amazon and recommended Binny, earning an employee recommendation bonus. He, however, had to soon return it as Binny left Amazon in 8 months.
The two then started a company together with Rs. 4 lakh capital.
The Bansals started off with the company Just Amazon
They started the company Just Amazon, with selling books online.
"We would do whatever it takes to do the business. He and I would ride my bike for 40-50 km every day in Bangalore, picking up books from various distributors, coming back, packing them (for dispatch to customers who ordered)," Binny said.
The company has grown and crossed 100 million registered customers in 2016.
Binny recalls his time with Sachin
"If I go back 10 years, it's amazing how we started what we did. Through the last 10 years one thing which really held both of us together was the shared values and making sure we do the right thing for customers always," Binny said.
A lot of Flipkart values came from Sachin's beliefs
A lot of Flipkart values, Binny said, come from the strong belief that Sachin brought and helped bring strong foundation.
But, just like most investor-driven companies, there comes a time when a debate happens on founder versus non-founder. In 2016, Sachin became executive chairman, as Binny replaced him as CEO. A few months later, Kalyan Krishnamurthy came back as head of category design.
On January 2017, Kalyan was declared Flipkart CEO
Krishnamurthy was the senior executive from Flipkart's largest investor, Tiger Global, who was interim CFO at the e-commerce giant in 2013-14.
Soon, he tightened the targets and fired quite a few senior executives for poor performance.
On January 9, 2017, Kalyan was declared Flipkart CEO - the first non-founder CEO of an Indian start-up Unicorn, while Binny became Flipkart Group CEO.