It’s been less than three months because Binny Bansal’s shock ouster from Flipkart, the e-commerce giant he set over a decade ago. The entrepreneur once celebrated for jumpstarting India’s internet retail sector is now devoting himself to assisting other founders get their startups off the floor.
It is aimed at helping entrepreneurs navigate the often-tricky Indian startup spectacle. Bansal’s already put together an early group, set up a workplace in a co-working space and even snagged several”top” startup customers.
“I am anticipating the next chapter of my life,” the 37-year-old said in his first meeting since the incident. “Person to person, I can help 10 startups however, the dream is to assist 10,000 ancient and mid-stage entrepreneurs, not 10,” he said, seated across a table at a restaurant in a Bangalore area, not far from where he and Sachin Bansal (no connection ) set up Flipkart in a two-room flat to sell books.
While Binny Bansal was his usual loquacious self, he largely clammed up as soon as the subject of his 2018 departure came up.
The US retail titan initiated an investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct.” Walmart was said to have begun an inquiry to a consensual relationship Bansal had with a girl. The probe appeared into claims that the girl had been paid off, maybe in exchange for her silence, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Bansal, who holds 4 percent of Flipkart and a board seat, has since kept a low profile. Throughout the interview, he quelled tries to go over the woman’s individuality or investigation findings, all of which are the topic of intense speculation. There is also the issue of a reported falling-out with Sachin — to this stage they’re no longer on speaking terms. Bansal determinedly sets a lid on it all:”Today, it is all in the past. I have proceeded.”
However, his demeanor shifts when discussing his passion project. Bansal’s new firm will build technology tools to help startups grow, providing on-tap consulting and solutions from legal and finance to communications, HR and management training.
“Nowadays, software is built for large enterprises rather than small startups,” he explained. And while venture capitalists mentor and nurture founders, there’s nothing ordered out there, he argued. As an example, when startups raise capital, they need to know where they should park the cash, the way to set a high bar for talent and how to build a workable business culture. “Think about it as fixing for startups what AmazonWeb Services has done for computing, helping enterprises go from zero to a thousand servers overnight with no hassle.”
Few entrepreneurs can boast Bansal’s track record. Equipped with a computer science degree and also a brief Amazon stint, he went on to help make India’s largest online retailer in a decade, tackling Amazon.com Inc. head-on. However, xto10x was born in a part since Bansal recalls Flipkart itself made mistakes at every turn.
“Instead of creating a thousand mistakes, if we could help different startups create a hundred or even a few hundred, that could be worth it,” he explained. It will retain a international attention as”problems for entrepreneurs will be the exact same everywhere.”
Bansal will be chairman of the organization but won’t take on a working function. That leaves him a while to bond with his two-and-a-half-year-old twin boys, take road trips with your family and build a new home.
That’s not to say that he has not kept his hands in. He’s an anchor investor in a fund known as 021 Money. His family has supported about 30 startups over the previous five decades. His latest investment has been in Crio, a learning platform for applications developers, whose seed round he co-funded with several prominent ex-Flipkart executives now popularly known as the”Flipkart Mafia.”
Sachin Bansal, meanwhile, is prepping his own second act, mentoring and funding startups and considering his own venture.