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01 Aug 2017

Flipkart launches budget brand 'Billion' for desi sellers and customers

Flipkart has launched 'Billion'- a 'Make-in-India'-inspired initiative that will partner with Indian sellers to cater to Indian customers.

Till now, it claims to have signed up with 10 manufacturers, but aims to eventually have thousands on board.

Billion products have been designed based on customer feedback and data collected from its portal. Eg, the cookware will be non-stick, and backpacks will have extra room.

In context

Flipkart's budget brand will target small cities, towns
The "Billion" brand


The "Billion" brand

According to rumors, Flipkart co-founder and executive chairman Sachin Bansal is slowly building up a budget brand called "Billion" to woo new shoppers to the platform.

It already has mixers, backpacks, and motley of other products under the brand name and in the future, Billion may also end up offering budget smartphones to compete with industry players like Xiaomi and Micromax.


Things have changed, a lot

Flipkart has seen its fair share of rough weather and in January 2016, Sachin Bansal ceded his CEO title to co-founder Binny Bansal as an aftermath of a downward spiral, where the company lost its precious market share to Amazon India.

Within the span of one year, Binny had to vacate the place for Kalyan Krishnamurthy, thanks to its largest investor Tiger Global Management.

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Betting on the new horse


Betting on the new horse

That's history; since Bansal is now entirely occupied with "Billion", which is going to pull Flipkart out from the rut that Indian e-commerce is facing for the last 18 months due to a dearth of new customers.

A dark cloud is looming overhead, as it's gradually being proved that growth estimates were deceptive and the $14-15 billion worth online market barely grew last year.


Going after new territories

The "Billion" brand is a continuation of Flipkart's recent initiative to take on the brick-and-mortar stores in smaller cities and towns.

The products under this brand will be tailor-made to fit the need of the consumers from these areas. It's a smart move as e-commerce penetration is still nascent in tier II and III cities and this could create a fresh batch of consumers.

Chances are high, it will pay off


Chances are high, it will pay off

The "Billion" gamble of the 35-year-old entrepreneur could actually end up giving some momentum to Flipkart by boosting revenues.

Even a decent sale of this brand's products would have a substantial impact, as sales of private label products give higher profit margins than the sales of third-party brands on the platform.

Sachin Bansal has created his own team to bring this project to fruition.

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