Flipkart did begin with a dramatic and interesting story. The back days of how Flipkart started with its first sale is itself an extraordinary content to write on.
Great belief and passion of the founders made Flipkart a page-turning glory in itself. It was all how Flipkart managed and started with its first online sale that did change the future of e-commerce in India.
Here, you will come to know the best story of Flipkart’s first customer and how did it all start…
When it all had started and by whom?
It was on a rainy day, back in October 2007. A man named V V K Chandra from Mahabubnagar, Andhra Pradesh who came with the thought to buy a book from Flipkart taking a risk.
Why did it all start?
V V K Chandra used to run a freelance web consultancy those days. He also had a lust for book reading. This brought him frequently, 90 km away from Mahabubnagar to buy his books.
He was a blogger and used to blog about tech and internet. It was in October 2007 that he received a comment with a link (flipkart.com) under one of his blog post. It was commented by Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart.
This increased Chandra’s curiosity and he entered Flipkart’s website visiting that link. Flipkart only used to sell books during those days. The functionality promising the shipment of books anywhere in India pleased him and the thought of buying his desired book from there came to his mind.
How did Chandra become Flipkart’s first customer?
Chandra was searching for the book John Wood’s Memoir – Leaving Microsoft To Change The World. Even Hyderabad’s best bookstore he visited didn’t stock the book he needed.
Then one day he came across that link by Sachin Bansal under his blog. Chandra recalled as of how he laughed at Sachin as he was marketing his shopping site for increasing the sales. He also recalled that decent look of Flipkart’s site. It wasn’t at all user-friendly and attractive.
Chandra gave it a try and after visiting the site he searched for the book and luckily got it there. He took a risk and trust to buy the book for Rs. 500 as he could afford to lose it. He placed an order, paying using a credit card and unknowingly became Flipkart’s first customer.
How did Flipkart manage and deliver it on time?
The excitement soon reached an apartment in Koramangala, Bengaluru where Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal stayed. They still recall the awesome moment of their first sale.
Unluckily, the excitement didn’t last long. Panic and anxiety knocked their doors when they came to know that the book was unavailable. It was mainly due to the back-end software script error that the website showed even the older database of the distributors.
They searched for the book all around many stores in Bangalore and even enquired a call to Delhi and Mumbai as well.
Binny, then send an email to Chandra. He mailed,
“Leaving Microsoft To Change The World” seems to have an availability all over India.
Still, my vendor has informed me that he might be able to procure the book in a couple of days though.
I’ll let you know as soon as I hear from him. We are really sorry for the delay in your order.
If you have any queries please let me know.
I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Finally, after this, they luckily got a copy of the book at Sapna Book Store in Indiranagar. The book was old with yellowish pages.
Binny re-emailed Chandra saying,
I tried calling you twice but couldn’t get through to you. I wanted to let you know that the book that we have procured from our vendor is a little worn out and doesn’t have a fresh feel to it.
Also, this is the only copy available currently.
So, you have two choices:
If you need it urgently than we can ship this copy itself. Or, if you can wait for a week then we can try to procure a fresh copy for you. In either case, we will give you a 10% extra discount for your troubles.
Let me know what you want ASAP.
Chandra recalls that how he was impressed with the emails of assurance and updates he was receiving from Flipkart. He replied back saying,
If you think the book you have is fine enough and not too badly torned out, you can send it to me.
Otherwise please refund the amount.
Let me know ASAP.
Reading this, Binny ride to the bookstore in Indiranagar at around 5 pm evening under heavy rain. He later realized that he had left his wallet back at his apartment. He went right back in rain, borrowed money from one of his roommates and returned to the bookstore for purchasing the book.
They then packed and shipped the book to Mahbubnagar the very fourth day of receiving the order.
Two days later, Chandra received the book. Happiness was shared when Flipkart’s first customer, left a positive testimonial on the website.
The best Indian online bookstore I have ever seen. Fast and free shipping. Discounts and a large number of titles. I could not have expected more. You guys really rock. Good Luck.
It was how the story ended. Since then Flipkart started achieving milestones towards success and continued the fun fulfillment of each and every customer’s wish.