Following the sudden announcement of his exit from Flipkart, Mukesh Bansal spoke to Shadma Shaikh about starting-up Myntra nine years ago, being acquired by Flipkart in 2014, and his plans to start up
Following the sudden announcement of his exit from Flipkart, Mukesh Bansal spoke to Shadma Shaikh about starting-up Myntra nine years ago, being acquired by Flipkart in 2014, and his plans to start up again by the end of the year, after taking a break to catch up on reading and taking his kids to the Rio Olympics in August! Excerpts from the interview:
What happens to your baby Myntra now, Mukesh I think Myntra is in a phenomenal place as an undisputed brand. It is very strongly positioned. It has a very good team in place and a phenomenal CEO. So, as a founder, I feel very good to leave Myntra in such a strong position. And to be optimistic, I believe it will continue to so stay in a very strong position even in the future.
Did Myntra turn out quite the way you wanted in these nine years Absolutely. When we started Myntra, I had three things in mind—to become the largest fashion retailer in the country, to build a unique value proposition for consumers and to build an organisation with a very strong foundation. I think we have achieved all three. And I think in the next five years, Myntra will be one of the iconic companies in India. So, I’m leaving with a feeling of satisfaction.
I think what made me most happy was the culture that we built. People in Myntra are deeply connected. I feel the place has a unique personality. Yesterday, when I sent a note to Myntra employees about my exit, many of them came and spoke to me about how much they feel like it’s their own company and how much fun they have and that they really feel connected to the place. I think that’s something I’m most proud of.
How did your family react to your quitting I think my kids were really happy that I would be taking some time off and traveling with them. They are really excited.
What are you going to do in the break What plans after that I am planning some trips with the kids. Thinking of taking them to Brazil for the Olympics. I think that would be fun. I also plan to read a lot and travel. Also, after a month, when my transition is complete, I plan on meeting a lot of people, exploring different things. By the end of this year, I plan on starting something new.
What will be the next venture be Does e-commerce still excite you E-commerce does interest me. But, I continue to be a shareholder in Flipkart, and I am very much invested in and supportive of Flipkart’s business. So, I won’t venture into another e-commerce portal. There are other areas that I think are very interesting. Artificial Intelligence is a technology that I think is really taking off in a big way. There are other areas, like sports, education and fitness, that I think can be dramatically transformed. There are also a lot of companies transforming logistics and transport businesses. There are tremendous opportunities in every field. For now I’ll keep an open mind and explore opportunities.
Will you be doing a recce of Silicon Valley to spot the next big thing I have a strong network in the Valley, so I will plan some time to meet people there. There is a lot happening in the Valley which is very inspiring.
What are you reading currently I read a lot of non-fiction, from science to history to biographies. I also like reading classic literature. I’m reading Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything” and Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Both are really fascinating books.