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Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  805 ratings  ·  111 reviews
The definitive account of India’s biggest startup that redefined e-commerce, entrepreneurship and the way we shop and live.

IIT graduates Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded out of a Bangalore apartment what would become India’s biggest e-commerce startup. Established in October 2007, Flipkart began as an online bookstore and soon came to be known for its ‘customer obses
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 6th 2019 by Pan Macmillan India
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Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Flipkart is a name we associate with Indian entrepreneurship and ingenuity. I still remember buying books from Flipkart in the early days when it was launched (in fact I was quite disappointed as in the later years books fell off from Flipkart’s priority). This book has very good background and details on the building of Flipkart.

Sachin Bansal & Binny Bansal, both from IIT Delhi firm up their plans to start an e-commerce venture when they were at Amazon India. Amazon India at that time was a te
Adarsh Rao
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Initially inspiring but later became oddly dejecting.

The book got off to a great start. I enjoyed reading about Sachin Bansal, the fact that he was super into e-sports in college created instant bonhomie. The initial chapters where the author describes what it really means to go study at an IIT and later work in Bangalore were extremely accurate. They instilled trust in me that he knows what he is talking about.

But soon, the book devolved into describing all the corporate politics that went on
Ritwik Manan
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
As someone who spent 4 years at Flipkart, I was very excited to read this book and curious about what narrative the author would weave. As such, my review is a little biased. I will however, stay away from commenting on any of the story itself
Overall, I agree with other reviewers that this book is well researched and you can see the effort into this. The book definitely brings back memories of the work and internal stories we lived. Where I think the book falls short is that it devolves into the
Vidhya Thakkar
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gives us a complete insight into how flipkart developed from a startup to the big company.
This book is well detailed and informative. The author left no stone unturned and gave his best in making this book interesting.
I liked the writing style of the author. It's crisp and interesting keeping the reader hooked throughout. The narration of the book is up to the point.
It's a slow-paced book and a heavy read. Take your own time to understand the idea and you'll love it.

The author also add
Vinayak Hegde
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, business, startups
A detailed well-written and meticulously researched story about the Indian e-commerce startup ecosystem and Flipkart in particular from the humble beginnings in NGV, Koramangala to eventual sale to the giant of Bentonville - Walmart. Some of the stories covered in the book are well known through media coverage of the Flipkart.

The book covers the ups and downs of running the startup, the investor-founder relationships and the Flipkart mafia (Flipkart founders who went on to build other companies)
Mar 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf
Story of rivals, story of power, story of Bansals!
May 16, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
I didn't really enjoy the writing style for this book. As for the story, it's pretty interesting. I enjoyed the part of transitions going at senior management and entry of Mr Krishnamurthy into Flipkart. The initial story of Flipkart reminded me of Google and Facebook where initial players were present with higher variety of items on site and better funding than Flipkart. However, Flipkart was able to vastly improve customer experience and created mini monopoly in sale of books (Amazon had not e ...more
Shivam Kimothi
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mihir Dalal has done a fantastic job. This is an outstanding piece of journalism. The book provides you with a very detailed and highly readable account of Flipkart's- an e-commerce startup based in India-road to success. From it's initial days, when it was just an idea floating around in the minds of two Amazon employees, to the present, when it is competing with the e-commerce giant, Amazon India(even winning in some scenarios).

The book focuses heavily on the business part of the journey. Fli
Kiran Jonnalagadda
This book is a lucid account of Flipkart's journey from inception to sale, told through the perspectives of three protagonists: founder Sachin Bansal, CFO turned CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and the deity-like investor Lee Fixel. An ensemble cast of other characters flesh out the story.

Each character has their own personality, ambition and narrative arc, and the combination could have made a book as chaotic as the startup. Here, Mihir Dalal employs a unique literary device: Hindi dialogue. Characte
Thasmai Blr
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: investing
Interesting to read about something happening right under our noses, fascinating story
Pranav Jagdish
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shubhanshu Dubey
Apr 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of the best books on Indian startup culture and history. Big Billion Startup by Mihir Dalal drops you directly into the Jwalamukhi hostel of IIT Delhi where the story of Flipkart starts. The book chronicles the initial days of Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (they're not brothers) working in their independent technology firms in Bangalore and how then a group of friends came together in Koramangala to bring about a revolution in the Indian entrepreneurship story.
In this bril
Anand Charles
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
An amazingly articulated book giving a good run down on milestones , numbers and the events that make Flipkart the brand today we all know off . To my surprise , author has managed to wrote this without any help from the top management . Having spent a decade and half in Kormangala myself and knowing many who have made a career in Flipkart it’s a good read to know the inside story along with the struggles which an entrepreneur has to go to make a successful startup. The sad part as in many cases ...more
Kukreja Yash
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A seemingly honest account of the great Indian company whose entrepreneurial journey was imprinted on the collective imagination of millions of Indians.

Sachin and binny Bansal, two guys of same caste, born in the same city(Chandigarh), graduated from the same college( IIT Delhi), both worked in the same company(amazon) eventually founded flipkart. No, it's not a mere coincidence. Gladwell's outliers theory is indeed universal. Whether it's silicon valley or Bengaluru, Agrawal community or rice
Supreet Kaur
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A quick read written with a focus on sensationalizing internal politics rather than conscious strategic decisions. Will make a good start for a movie adaptation, perhaps?

The initial parts of the book (till the first few rounds of funding) are good - the focus on founders’ resilience and perseverance.
Gaurav Pandey
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well written not only about the founders but also about all the people who played key role in Flipkart
Abhishek Amar
Sep 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
5 stars for the story, 3.5 stars for the writing.

Suffice to say that there have been many lifetimes compressed into the relatively few years that Flipkart has been around.
Sidhant Jain
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Liked the way author has told all sides of story and not from someone's point of view. It showed highs and lows of all the characters. The book told how volatile the life was at flipkart, people were fired just a few months after they had been praised for their performance and had been promoted.

I have read 'Alibaba' by Duncan Clark, it was more about Jack Ma than Alibaba, this book was about all the people running flipkart. The setbacks the company faced have been given equal importance to its a
Aryan Sarath
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Castles aren't built overnight. This is a popular saying which most of us know. What we may not know is how those castles were built. This is the theme of this extra ordinary book which is the first hand account of how the Bansals who hails from the powerful Baniya business community went to built one of the largest eCommerce companies in India, SORRY - World.

The book runs for 272 pages with 24 chapters. Each and every chapter is distinct in itself. Mihir Dalal who is an investigative journalist
Apr 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Could have easily made this book into two parts!
Lot of drama; twists and turns; superbly depicts the Flipkart Saga.

Hope Sachin can fulfil his goal of building a top notch technology company with Navi.
Bharadwaaj Rajan
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
I picked up this book in late October before my trip to India and could not put it down. I had to consciously delay the reading of the book to ensure I was not distracted during the trip. I completed it once I was back. The book is written in a fast paced manner and reads like a thriller. No wonder, it is soon going to be made into a movie.

The book starts right from Sachin and Binny’s IIT delhi days detailing how sachin actually had to stay back a year due to his addiction to gaming. He was an “
Nov 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There are very few business books in the Indian context and much fewer on Indian businesses. This book, Big Billion Startup by Mihir Dalal is so fresh and a welcome one in that aspect. True to his title as an investigative journalist, Mihir has gone deep into various aspects that played out in the Flipkart story, right from the genesis to the exit of Bansals.

To a large extent, this book resembles a thriller, and the narrative is gripping. Mihir has done a great job in covering many of the import
Mahendra Rathod
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, fun
This is one of the best books on the Indian startup ecosystem, which took India and the world by storm from 2010 till date. The book chronicles the journey of Flipkart from inception till its sale to Walmart. The book provides insider views, politics, turmoil, success, grit, innovation of the founders and various other leaders who contributed immensely to its success. This book also provides a glimpse into the startup ecosystem. Starting from the finance lords (venture capitals), other rivals (l ...more
May Ling
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Summary: Overall great story that people will want to know about. I struggled with the tone of voice in the book. Also, I think there are minor weaknesses related to the way the deals are presented.

Video review to come on Instagram: WhereIsMayLing . Appreciate any follows.

My major issues for removing a star have to do with the tone of voice. If this book really comes to the US, he's got to watch the bro-start-up attitude. It makes any real business person want to roll their eyes and puke. that'
Satyajeet Sahu
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to start any kind of business or startup
The first thing that I felt while reading this book was like it has lots and lots of information, so much details about the events. So much information that I felt a bit tired while reading the book. But, we can't exactly blame the author because Flipkart was actually a really fast growing company, and there was always something new happening there, and the author has tried to cover as much as possible.

Now, what I really liked about was the story of how Flipkart came into existence and how it ro
Deepika Bandaru
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Being an ex-flipster (2014-18), I was quite enthusiastic to read this book. It deserves the wide acclaims for in-depth research. The author nails a lot of details about Flipkart's culture such as conflicts of being tech first/ Biz first, customer obsession, employee ownership, significances of Koramangala and speaking Hindi.

The narrative for first few years is inspiring and supported by great context of the market conditions. Circumstances leading to the turmoil of mid 2015-2016 is dealt in det
Surbhi Dua
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A compelling story that gives a detailed account of how Sachin and Binny Bansal built and ultimately sold India’s largest internet company.

The book emphasises on the inner workings of the company taking a closer look at the clash of personalities, egos, and politics.

Sachin Bansal; man with a vision who led Flipkart to its spectacular rise during his first tenure as CEO. However, his subsequent decisions which clearly were a strategic blunder coupled with the desperation to get back to the hot s
May 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I love untold stories and gossip about startups, and there just aren't many good books chronicling Indian startups. So this book was a 4-star for me even before reading simply because it was helping bridge a big supply demand gap :) However even independent of that, this is an excellent book. First, the subject matter - Flipkart is a big success story of the past decade, all of us know about it, and being a first mover in an operationally intensive industry is going to create interesting stories ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced book with good insights into Flipkart uprise. It's easy to say that Flipkart is a clone of Amazon in the West. But the problems they solved, the infrastructure they setup, the innovative or juggad solutions for problems such as faulty payment options laid the path for all the ecommerce companies that were established later including Amazon.

This book is not just about how Flipkart's journey over years but also about personalities of people who were deeply invested in it - how the foun
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