Will Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal be third time lucky as CEO?

Since leaving Flipkart in 2018, Sachin Bansal has been investing his wealth in various startups and lending institutions, largely in the form of debt.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal is embarking upon his third journey as a chief executive.

This time, the IIT-Delhi graduate is shifting gears from e-commerce and investments. In his latest avatar, Bansal will become the CEO of Bengaluru-based microlender Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Pvt. Ltd (CRIDS).

Bansal is part of a growing tribe of seasoned entrepreneurs, who have exited their businesses to either start a new venture or become business leaders in other companies.

Bansal has taken a majority stake in CRIDS for 739 crore. While he will assume the role of CEO, the founders of CRIDS will continue in their respective roles of growing existing business segments.

But can Bansal replicate his successful journey in Flipkart, which he led from 2007-16?

Bansal, who had a 5.5% stake in Flipkart, made more than $1 billion from the deal, and late last year he started BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd, a holding company to invest in startups.

Bansal has been the CEO of BAC since December, according to his LinkedIn profile, and has been investing in startups and lending institutions, largely in the form of debt. Through BAC, he has invested 250 crore each through debt in non-banking financial companies Altico Capital India Ltd and IndoStar Capital Finance Ltd.

Industry observers say product-minded entrepreneurs such as Bansal and Kunal Shah, who founded fintech startup Cred after exiting his first venture FreeCharge, don’t appear to enjoy investing in companies because they prefer a hands-on approach by doing things themselves.

“They see things in a certain way and implement them. They have massive experience and want a chance to avoid the mistakes they made earlier,” said Vivek Durai, founder of business information platform Paper.vc. “For second-time celebrity entrepreneurs, expectations in the market and from their peers are very high, so there is a huge fear of failure. So, they tend to choose these large vibrant markets, where capital is easy and they can focus on product.”

“The Indian finance world is very traditional and technology offers opportunity to explore several business opportunities, which was not possible earlier,” said Joshi.

While only time will tell if Bansal can create a behemoth such as Flipkart in the fintech space, many in the industry say he has the ability to pull it off.

“E-commerce is a lot about AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and internet of things (IoT). Sachin knows these well,” Joshi said. “Be it e-commerce or fintech, the underlying technology works on the same principle: understanding a customer’s behaviour and needs.”

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.