It was late October 2007. VVK Chandra, a freelance web consultant, lived in Mahabubnagar (a town in undivided Andhra Pradesh).
His voracious appetite for books brought him frequently to Hyderabad, 90 km away, where he combed the city’s famous bookstores for inspiration.
But even Hyderabad’s best didn’t stock the one book he craved – John Wood’s memoir Leaving Microsoft to Change The World.
Chandra used to blog about technology and the internet. Beneath one of his posts, a user who identified himself as Sachin Bansal (co-founder of Flipkart) had casually left a comment with the link of the website: www.flipkart.com.
Intrigued by the unfamiliar link, VVK Chandra clicked and found himself on a site that claimed to sell books and ship them anywhere in India. He hadn’t seen anything like it before.
The website looked decent. More importantly, it was selling the book he wanted. He decided to take a chance by ordering from it.
As the order was placed, a round of cheer went up in a small two-bedroom apartment in Bangalore, where Flipkart had just taken its baby steps. Sachin and Binny Bansal (co-founders) were ecstatic.
However, they soon realized that the book was unavailable.
After calling up several bookstores all across India they found that a local book store in Bangalore had just one copyleft. However, the pages had turned yellowish and it wasn’t in great condition.
Binny Bansal emailed Chandra and informed him about the condition of the book. Chandra said he didn’t mind it and wanted the book.
Two days later the book reached Chandra and Flipkart’s first order was successful. Flipkart gave him a 10% discount and Chandra wrote an awesome review on Flipkart’s website.
Flipkart, which originally started as an online bookstore, revolutionized the way books were bought and sold in India. Gradually they added other products to their online store and are now one of the largest eCommerce companies in India.