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Flipkart: An Entrepreneurial Culture Built to Last?
Venkataraman, Sankaran; Maiden, Stephen E. Case S-0425 / Published March 18, 2024 / 11 pages.
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Product Overview

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Internet Private Limited (Flipkart), the fast-growing Indian e-commerce company, looked at the numbers on his computer screen and shook his head. It was November 2022, and Flipkart Quick, a two-year-old business based around rapid delivery of supermarket food and other items to city consumers, was struggling. Krishnamurthy knew that Flipkart Quick wasn’t Flipkart’s first venture to struggle and likely would not be the last. Launched in 2007, Flipkart offered customers more than 80 million products across more than 80 categories, and in 2018, Walmart Inc. had become its majority owner. Flipkart had achieved incredible success and market leadership in large part because of its culture of risk taking. While some of its ventures had won big, some had had to be shuttered. Krishnamurthy had such a decision to make later that day. The numbers on Krishnamurthy’s screen showed that Flipkart Quick was burning cash rapidly as it faced intense competition. Sandeep Karwa, the founder and leader of Flipkart Quick, had successfully led several business lines at Flipkart since 2012. Karwa had requested a meeting with Krishnamurthy that afternoon to request additional funding for Flipkart Quick. Krishnamurthy believed that star entrepreneurs like Karwa should be supported, but he also had to direct resources to the most promising opportunities. What should he do about Flipkart Quick? Invest more and scale it? Cut the project? Pivot? And what should he do with Karwa? This field-based case offers an overview of Flipkart’s history, culture, and structure, before detailing the rise of Flipkart Quick amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the Darden School of Business, it is taught in the Executive Education “Entrepreneurial Thinking” class; it would also be suitable in a module covering strategy and e-commerce.




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  • Overview

    Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Internet Private Limited (Flipkart), the fast-growing Indian e-commerce company, looked at the numbers on his computer screen and shook his head. It was November 2022, and Flipkart Quick, a two-year-old business based around rapid delivery of supermarket food and other items to city consumers, was struggling. Krishnamurthy knew that Flipkart Quick wasn’t Flipkart’s first venture to struggle and likely would not be the last. Launched in 2007, Flipkart offered customers more than 80 million products across more than 80 categories, and in 2018, Walmart Inc. had become its majority owner. Flipkart had achieved incredible success and market leadership in large part because of its culture of risk taking. While some of its ventures had won big, some had had to be shuttered. Krishnamurthy had such a decision to make later that day. The numbers on Krishnamurthy’s screen showed that Flipkart Quick was burning cash rapidly as it faced intense competition. Sandeep Karwa, the founder and leader of Flipkart Quick, had successfully led several business lines at Flipkart since 2012. Karwa had requested a meeting with Krishnamurthy that afternoon to request additional funding for Flipkart Quick. Krishnamurthy believed that star entrepreneurs like Karwa should be supported, but he also had to direct resources to the most promising opportunities. What should he do about Flipkart Quick? Invest more and scale it? Cut the project? Pivot? And what should he do with Karwa? This field-based case offers an overview of Flipkart’s history, culture, and structure, before detailing the rise of Flipkart Quick amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the Darden School of Business, it is taught in the Executive Education “Entrepreneurial Thinking” class; it would also be suitable in a module covering strategy and e-commerce.

  • Learning Objectives