Big Billion Startup Summary

Book: Big Billion Startup
Author: Mihir Dalal

# Key Takeaways:

– The importance of having a clear vision and purpose for a startup

– The role of innovation and disruption in creating a successful startup

– The significance of building a strong team and company culture

– The need for continuous learning and adaptation in a fast-paced startup environment

– The impact of external factors such as government policies and market trends on a startup’s success

# Practical Application:
The concepts and strategies presented in Big Billion Startup can be applied in real-world scenarios by:

– Identifying a clear vision and purpose for the startup and aligning all decisions and actions towards it

– Encouraging a culture of innovation and experimentation within the team

– Building a diverse and talented team with a strong focus on collaboration and communication

– Constantly learning and adapting to changing market conditions and customer needs

– Staying updated on government policies and industry trends to make informed business decisions.

# Valuable Insights for Leaders and Managers:

– Chapter 2: “The Power of Purpose”

– highlights the importance of having a clear purpose and how it can drive a startup’s success.

– Chapter 4: “Innovation and Disruption”

– discusses the role of innovation in creating a successful startup and how to foster a culture of innovation within the team.

– Chapter 6: “Building a Winning Team”

– emphasizes the importance of building a strong team and company culture for long-term success.

– Chapter 8: “Adapting to Change”

– provides insights on how to navigate through challenges and adapt to changing market conditions.

– Chapter 10: “External Factors”

– discusses the impact of external factors on a startup’s success and how to mitigate their effects.

# Case Studies and Examples:

– The success story of Flipkart, one of India’s biggest startups, is used throughout the book to illustrate the principles and strategies discussed.

– The case study of Ola, a ride-hailing startup, showcases how the company adapted to changing market conditions and government policies to become a leader in the industry.

– The example of Airbnb’s disruptive business model is used to highlight the importance of innovation and disruption in creating a successful startup.


The book reflects on the aspect of Flipkart that most Indians are not familiar with i.e the internal operations of the company, its numerous impediments it faced, its near-death escape in 2016 etc. The book is about the founders Sachin and Binny Bansal and all other professionals who played a significant part in Flipkart’s climactic rise as well.

The founders

Sachin Bansal believed in dreaming big. He was more towards the intuitive spectrum as he mostly relied on gut feelings to arrive at conclusions. He didn’t possess interpersonal skills either which is what would eventually lead to his decline in the sights of senior investors.

On the other hand, Binny Bansal was well composed. He depended more on his execution skills, making him more approachable. The IIT Delhi graduates got to know each other only in Bengaluru. They stayed in the same apartment complex and worked at Amazon.

The start

Sachin and Binny had started Flipkart in 2007 from an apartment house in Koramangala in Bengaluru with Rs 4,00,000 of their personal money. Business in the country was ruled by obscure companies despite years of liberalisation. Success derived from the ability to keep regulators pleased.

Internet entrepreneurship was deemed as a fragile ambition, destined to fail. Disbelievers included many VC firms in India.

For a long time, making it seemed to be impossible for the startup. These early years were accompanied by many setbacks. They couldn’t convince their friends or investors to join their mission. In 2009, following their rejection by every venture capitalist in the nation, it had taken them longer than 18 months to draw a noble sum of $1 million. A few months later, Lee Fixel, a fund manager at Tiger Global took interest. Within weeks, an investment of $10 million was finalised.

The Journey

The Bansals would come a great way towards proving their vision. Flipkart constantly focused on customer experience, adding new product categories, offer heavy price cuts and offer vast reach. The company was doubling every 3-6 months.

The author goes on to describe the political tensions the developed between the founders and CEO Krishnamurthy. The environment is depicted as a battlefield at the top level among aspirations between investors and employees. The hierarchal framework was constantly restructured every few months. Flipkart continued to grow despite these circumstances. But certain rifts between different ideas, principles, ambitions etc seemed to have affected Flipkart’s ultimate goal of becoming a $100 billion company as eagerly promised by Sachin Bansal in 2014. This book goes into further detail of such accounts of the ups and downs of the company and how they eventually were bought out by Walmart for $16 billion.


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