Flipkart is going through tough times and while everybody is now having ‘I told you so’ moment, the reality is that the company is now being run by a professional CEO (rather, investor).
Which makes it quite worrisome.
Or maybe not.
A company needs different set of leadership and focus at different scale. No other company in India has achieved the scale / interest Flipkart has. So for those (including me) who are passing a judgement on Flipkart – time to look within and analyze your scale.
Having said that, it’s time to ‘ask tough questions’ and the toughest question I have in front of me is :
What if Flipkart Fails.
Failure at Flipkart scale isn’t about shutdown – but getting (quickly) irrelevant and not being able to provide (healthy) returns to stakeholders.
By stakeholders, I mean investors, employees, vendors and everyone else.
Flipkart is “THE” face of Indian startup ecosystem – they created this model, ran it at scale and importantly, a lot of founders relate to the Bansals : Nerdy / Geeky and ambitious.
Flipkart has been a ‘hope’ for many entrepreneurs who are struggling with funding/govt interruptions and scaling.
If Flipkart fails, it will erode (global) investor’s confidence in Indian startups. It will erode the confidence on founders, especially on their ability to execute at scale.
If Flipkart fails, it will get all the more difficult for startups to hire talent (and sell ESOP story to them).
It’s David vs Goliath now. Just that Flipkart is playing both the roles in this case.
Flipkart is fighting Flipkart to win over Flipkart.
Hope it wins.