The humble beginnings behind companies like Apple are inspiring tales. From a garage to becoming a multi-billion-dollar company, Steve Jobs left the world amazed. But that's not the only inspiring tale entrepreneurs can reminisce as another Indian e-commerce giant started in a small flat in Bengaluru's residential area to going on to become one of the undisputed champions in its space.
Flipkart's journey is one that isn't missed while talking about success tales. The Bansals might no longer be in association with their brainchild, but the humble beginning of Flipkart is something that is sure to give you goosebumps.
To humble beginnings
Not a garage per se, but almost an equivalent for a company that's now worth over $20 billion. Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, who are not related despite sharing the same last name, founded what is now an e-commerce giant in India in 2007. At the time, Flipkart did not have those fancy, big buildings acquiring lakhs of square feet but a humble 2BHK flat in a residential bungalow.
The two-bedroom home office in Bengaluru's residential Koramangala area was more than just that for IIT-Delhi alumni who had just left jobs at Amazon. They went on to start an online bookstore from their first office in Bengaluru.
Flipkart started here
447-C, 12th main, Koramangala, is of great significance to not just the Bansals, but also to Flipkart, which is now owned by Walmart in majority share. The story behind renting out a single floor in a two-storey bungalow in Bengaluru's residential suburb before it became one of the hottest stops for Bengalureans' leisure.
Sachin and Binny Bansal almost didn't get that position for their first Flipkart office if it wasn't for a retired government official SM Fathaulla, who wasn't the one to turn away young entrepreneurs with dreams. Fathaulla's wife had reservations about renting out space to the Bansals, but it's safe to say the retired government official didn't want to shatter the dreams of young IIT-ians at the time.
Flipkart's first office space is where the first employee Ambur Iyyappa, a management trainee out of B-school, had joined the operations. Soon enough, a woman engineer joined the team and the silent bungalow was soon seen sprawling with employees so they had to expand to the terrace and balcony.
Fast forward to a year later, Flipkart had its first office in Bengaluru in 2008 and few more in Delhi and Mumbai by 2009. But all the success didn't Flipkart gained in its early years didn't mean the core team was willing to let go of their humble abode. And they didn't. The landlord had recalled Sachin personally ringing him to pay the rent to what was their first office - the place where it all began.
The residential office was still used by Flipkart for think-meets, hackers' huddles and office potlucks. Everything is history now, but for Flipkart, it will always remain a rich one.