Time magazine names Flipkart founders among 100 most influential people in the world

In esteemed company.
In esteemed company.
Image: Flipkart
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Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal, and Binny Bansal  (not related) have become the first Indian e-commerce entrepreneurs to be named among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Now in its 13th year, the 100 most influential people’s list is released annually and recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement.

“Binny and Sachin do have modest lifestyles, by billionaire standards, but they’re also nimble tacticians and hardheaded realists, and they dream big,” Time said. “They’ll have to fight it out with foreign heavyweights like Amazon and Alibaba, but it’s safe to say that no one is going to underestimate Binny and Sachin again.”

The early thirties duo was named under the “titans” section of Time’s list, along with technology heavyweights such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (and his wife Priscilla Chan), Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Sundar Pichai, the India-born CEO of online search giant Google.

“This is truly a recognition of the Indian internet ecosystem and its role in using technology to solve local problems that is enabling Indians to lead a better life,” Flipkart co-founders said in a statement. “It reinforces our resolve to fast track Flipkart’s mission of transforming commerce in India through technology.”

The entrepreneurs made their debut on Forbes India Rich List in 2015 at number 86 with a net worth of $1.3 billion each.

Former employees for American e-commerce giant Amazon, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who met at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, started Flipkart in 2007 as an online bookstore from their apartment in Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru-based online marketplace is now the largest home-grown player in the Indian e-commerce market, with a reported gross merchandise value (GMV, or the total value of goods sold) of $10 billion. Flipkart has raised around $3.15 billion, according to CrunchBase, a startup database platform.

Flipkart has over 75 million registered users, 33,000 employees, 14 warehouses, and gets 10 million daily page visits, according to its website.

In the recent months, however, Flipkart’s prospects have dimmed. In March, investor Morgan Stanley trimmed the company’s valuation by $4 billion to $11 billion. More recently, another investor, T. Rowe Price devalued its investment in the company by 15.1%.

Other Indians named in Time’s most influential list this year are Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, and environmentalist Sunita Narain.