Binny Bansal, one of the co-founders of Flipkart, has resigned from the board of the e-commerce major citing potential conflict of interest arising from his new business venture. 

Binny Bansal

Bansal had co-founded Flipkart along with Sachin Bansal back in 2007. Under their leadership, Flipkart grew to become the largest e-commerce platform in India, attracting huge investments over the years. In 2018, US retail giant Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in a landmark deal. 

However, Binny Bansal‘s active involvement with Flipkart came to an end in 2018 itself when he resigned as group CEO in the wake of allegations of personal misconduct. While he continued as a board member, his role was limited. 

Last year, Bansal announced plans to launch a new business-to-business e-commerce startup called OppDoor. Targeted at emerging brands and retailers, OppDoor aims to help them expand globally through its software-as-a-service based platform. 

Given that OppDoor will operate in the e-commerce sector, just like Flipkart, Bansal felt there could be potential conflict of interest in continuing as a board member of both companies. 

In a statement to Flipkart earlier this week, Bansal is learnt to have said that while he will continue supporting Flipkart which holds a special place for him, he wants to avoid any governance-related conflict or compliance issues due to his new venture.

Bansal’s exit from Flipkart’s board brings the curtains down on his long and illustrious association with the company spanning over 15 years since its inception. Under his and Sachin Bansal’s leadership, Flipkart grew meteorically to become a household name and the largest e-commerce platform in India, taking on global giant Amazon in its own backyard.

The company’s rise also heralded the emergence of India’s vibrant startup ecosystem and kickstarted the country’s digital revolution. Many other e-commerce ventures like Myntra, Jabong were acquired by Flipkart during this period as it looked to consolidate its position. 

Binny Bansal played a key role right from Flipkart’s early days, helping build various functions and scaling up the business. Even after exiting the CEO role, he continued providing strategic guidance and support to Flipkart in his capacity as a board member. 

However, with his new venture OppDoor now set for an official launch, continuing at Flipkart could have led to conflicts due to overlaps in business models and strategies of both companies. Hence, it was prudent of Bansal to step away from Flipkart’s board to avoid any such governance issues in future.

While Bansal will no longer be formally associated with Flipkart, he will surely be watching its progress with pride and interest. Having played a founding role, Flipkart will always remain close to his heart. With his entrepreneurial skills and experience, Bansal’s new venture OppDoor also holds significant promise to be a success in the evolving B2B e-commerce space.