“The lion may be more powerful, but the wolf doesn’t perform in the circus.”
By Ankit Mahajan
Either you invent something and make something out of it or follow the footsteps of innovators and apply same innovations at different place in different time. I believe GE (General Electric) fits with former and Apple fits the latter.
I just want to cite one example. Napoleon Bonaparte, the greatest military genius of Europe, became one of the most admired and hated men in history. In 1812, Napoleon’s Grand Army entered Russia in order to punish Alexander, but the ravages of the deadly Russian winter decimated his army. Interesting case is that Adolf Hitler would repeat the same mistake with the same result in 1941. What I want to say is that the same thing yields similar results if applied in the same manner. Flipkart exactly did that. Well Adolf Hitler’s case is in a negative connotations and Flipkart’s in positive one.
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal started with the same idea that Amazon used to start a business – Online retailing of books. It was natural choice to start quickly and cheaply. Sachin said in 2010,” It was easy to start of with books as the inventory management is far easier than any other product. The cost is lower.”
I found these strategies and achievements which eventually made it to become one of the most successful startups in India –
They understood customer’s preference of paying in cash particularly in a place where 70% of population lives in rural India and carries those inherent mindsets. It successfully implemented “Cash and carry business.” In a decade of its presence, it built strong ties with some 1 Lac plus sellers. It used raised funds in technology, supply chain and in building a better talent pool.
I believe the inflection point came with the launch of ‘Divastri’, its first private label brand. Betting big on fashion with acquisition of Myntra (2014) and Jabong (2016) because of which it’s gaining an edge over Amazon. Since electronics products have thinner margin, it gauged the sense that it needs to move to other segment with higher margin (Fashion). Strategy – A new fashion sale is organised every month. Amazon was the late entrant in this. Earlier it successfully established itself as a successful portal for electronics.
According to the ‘Fashion forward 2020’ report by BCG, Indian fashion market is $70 B today and $ 7-9 B is already digitally influenced. More orders will come from women customers that too from ethnic wear. Flipkart is poised to gain in this competition since alliance of Myntra and Jabong claims to have 70% of market share in online fashion with flipkart alone claiming to have 35% share. Although Amazon has Kindle and Prime where it is very difficult to make a presence and Flipkart might have to struggle in that. I believe everybody has its own way of playing a game.
This article was originally published by author Ankit Mahajan.