“6th October, 2014 – The Big Billion Day” was one of the biggest days in 7 years history of Flipkart. After this day, discussions on various social media platforms about so called ‘D-day’ of Flipkart led me to one conclusion that many of those who are making such comments on social media have learned to ride a bicycle without even falling down. If this is not the case, then either people don’t have gut to praise such an attempt or they have chosen to go with the flow (I know this is blunt and harsh but unfortunately that’s the true picture). Almost everyone is pointing fingers on Flipkart and naming it as a Flop show but do they know, what made Flipkart today’s ‘FLIPKART’.com is their ability to take risks, courage, DREAM to play it big and a zillion other qualities. Like others, they could have also let themselves grow in normal fashion but they chose to DREAM, they chose to show dream to a billion people of the country.
Regardless of whatever has been said about ‘ Big Billion Day ’, I believe they have hit a jackpot with the word. Why I believe so because had they simply named it – “Diwali Sale”, they would not have created this much hype. Everyone knows the prime objective was not making the profit but to win the mind share, to be the first mover in Indian e-commerce space wherein the competition has gotten very tough. And believe me it requires a lot of gut and self-belief to come –up with something which no one has ever attempted before. Flipkart attempted to do that and we all should stand and praise it for this courageous attempt.
I am not denying the fact that Flipkart faced its share of failures and negative word of mouth from ‘ Big Billion Day ’ but we should not forget the fact that now they have the experience to organize and execute such an event in a better way which no other player has in Indian e-commerce space. As they say, “It’s easier said than done”, so for me, in a way, they are one-step ahead of the competition and they should be proud of it. Flipkart itself knows that there were many things that went wrong on ‘ Big Billion Day ’ ranging from operational issues such as ‘products being out of stock’ even before the start of sale to the claims that they increased the prices before discounting them. In some of the places these claims were well supported by screen-shots of price pages and graphs showing the difference. In a quick response to appease users, the founders came-up with an apology letter admitting that they have failed on so many fronts such as ’predicting the foot-fall/ traffic’, predicting the orders’ and many others. Many have named this move as a way to gain the sympathy of masses (we Indians are considered to be very emotional and forgiving by nature) but to me, it was one of the wisest moves from Flipkart which shows that they know where they have failed and they are keen to fix all these gaps/ failures in future.
- How many times, in past, have we seen such an apology letter from CEOs of any company in India? (I can only recollect the ‘TATA- Nano’ incident wherein Mr. Ratan Tata admitted that the project was a failure.)
- When did you last see an Indian company earning $100 million in a day?
Regardless of all the vexations, Flipkart has succeeded in doing a few things:
- Engraved the benefits of ecommerce in the minds of ordinary, non-internet friendly Indians. This, itself, has a huge repercussion on the entire industry – both offline retail and online stores.
- Capture the mind share of online crowd
- Experiment with what triggers big buying sprees in India
- Experiment with their own internal processes, systems and learn
Not to forget that “Success lies in trying hard, really hard” and I am pretty sure, going forward, Flipkart will continue to thrive and grow. We all (as Indians) are proud of Flipkart, the way it has changed the e-commerce landscape in India ( I know Flipkart is no more an Indian company as it has registered itself in Singapore and now it’s a Singapore based company) and this is something which no one can take away from Flipkart.