Flipkart’s Double Standards An Embarrassment
The ‘poster boy’ of Indian Start Ups, Flipkart is on an embarrassment spree. The company and its founder Sachin Bansal unabashedly display their ‘double standards’ basis the situation at hand.
Carl Pei, the founder of OnePlus, which is one of world’s fastest growing mobile phone manufacturers, recently wrote to Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal ,“brother, what’s this? We’re exclusive with @amazonIN”. He further wrote: “For premium brands, trust is everything. We would never betray trust by dropping prices like this.”
This was in response to Flipkart running a banner on its website which suggested availability of OnePlus 3 devices at an enormously discounted price of around Rs 10,000 during the ‘Big Shopping Days’ (from December 18-21) which Flipkart ran. Upset with Flipkart, Pei further Tweeted ,” we only work with Amazon, maybe it is second hand”.
Mind you,OnePlus has an exclusive tie-up with Amazon India. But then Flipkart as we know it, was just unwilling to accept that it acted opportunisticaly and released a statement saying,” Flipkart is a marketplace which helps sellers connect with customers across the country. All our sellers are mandated to adhere to stringent guidelines. The prices and discounts for all our sales are decided by the participating sellers and brands.”
With the push coming to shove, OnePlus released a statement saying, “We have an exclusive partnership with Amazon in India. We advise customers to purchase OnePlus products only through official channels as we cannot guarantee the authenticity of the products sold elsewhere.”
But when it comes to itself, Flipkart does a marvelous 180 degree turn and with such ease. Riled by the massive growth being registered by Amazon in India, its founder Sachin Bansal has invoked ‘protectionism’ under the garb of ‘nationalism’. He says,” if local players dominate the market, then security, data and privacy will all be under Indian control. We should tell the world we need your capital, but we don’t need your companies”.
Flipkart implores the nationalistic jingoism even as itself is for practical purposes a foreign company. Its investors are Accel Partners, DST Global, Tiger Global, GIC, Iconiq Capital, Qatar Investment Authority and all of these investment firms are not Indian.