Mukesh Bansal Curated

Entrepreneur; Founder of Myntra


  • What are the other factors driving valuations?

    Valuation is also driven by sentiment. The macroeconomic sentiment is pretty good. India’s GDP (gross domestic product) is picking up. The falling oil prices is a huge boon for the economy, and consumer confidence is high. Some of this is playing into foreign investors’ interest in wanting to participate in India’s growth story. All of these things contribute and, yes, valuations are driven by business cycles and they do change. It’s very difficult to say whether the valuations are inflated or not. Even VCs (venture capitalists) who say valuations are too high, they are also the ones who out-compete each other for investments.

  • Why are you raising so much money in a short span of time?

    We would like to be in a position where we are not driven by short-term changes in the macroeconomic environment and focus on our long-term projects. For instance, we are looking at building a massive supply chain network. That is a long lead time project and we want to be able to do it independent of the business cycles. That’s part of the motivation (for raising so much money). We want to make sure we’re reasonably capitalized and we’re not making short-term changes to optimize the cash-burn situation. Also, most of the high-quality investors want to be part of the India growth story. So we also look at what investors are bringing to the table. It’s not only money, their network, their understanding—we want to have a strong team inside the company and investors are a part of this. So even if there’s no need to raise money, if we get a really strong investor on board at the right valuation, we’ll do it.

  • What do your recent investors such as DST Global, Qatar Investment Authority and GIC bring to the table?

    One is the ability to stick with the company for a long period of time. When the company goes public, they have the ability to buy a significant chunk. Most of our new investors have a pretty broad Internet portfolio around the globe, so there’s the network that comes with them. We know we’re doing very well, but things don’t always progress in a straight line. There are good times and not-so-good times. Investors’ ability to support the organization is a huge advantage. These are people who won’t be fickle minded. This means we won’t have to deviate from our advantage regardless of what’s happening outside.

  • Considering how fast valuations have risen over the past year, do you regret selling Myntra at the price you did?

    Myntra has also benefited from valuation appreciation. It’s not like that growth is not happening. It’s a big reason Myntra-Flipkart together are able to see the increase in valuation we’ve seen over the last one year. Investors have the realized the combination of the two is much more powerful. So, absolutely no regrets.

  • In your conversations with investors, how important is the topic of profitability?

    We do have a path to profitability agenda. But that is not the only  agenda. We want to grow our market share, we want to deliver meaningful differentiation for our consumers. So profitability is among the top five priorities for us, and it does get discussed with investors.

  • What made you become an entrepreneur?

  • Would you advise people who want to come back from the United States to start their own businesses here?

  • Were you surprised with the pivot that happened in your business and how did you manage the pivot?

  • How did you do your first reinvention in personalizing gifting going to fashion?

  • Any advice would you like to give to the potential entrepreneurs who are looking for a pivot in what they have built and what they are going to do now?

  • How was your experience raising capital? What advice would you give entrepreneurs who are raising capital?

  • Having made Myntra reach the number 1 spot for fashion, did you think of remaining independent or merge it with another company?

  • How did you face the challenges when your in-fashion business was growing 10 times more since the time you started?

  • How important was it for you to hire a strong management team?

  • What do you think made your competitors not progress further? What mistakes do you think have they made?

  • In this large market what kind of new things do you think will happen in the internet space? What kind of new opportunity exists for the entrepreneur?

  • Why did you invest heavily on technology in your early days?

  • You took the bold decision of going completely mobile. How was the experience?

  • How much of your total revenue do the private brands make up?

    Myntra will be the first profitable company in all of the E-Commerce in India. It may still take another 12-18 months but not that far off. Most of our ratios are steadily improving.

  • Even if I were to look at the Flipkart story, the losses continue to mount even as far as Flipkart is concerned. Which is why people then don’t believe this credible road to profitability theory.

    Almost all the metrics I look at especially compare year over year, they are all improving steadily. Our burn as a percentage of revenue is steadily going down. So, that is a good sign of progress. Our gross profit percentage per order is improving. I feel very confident that for Flipkart also the profitability is not that far out. It may still take a few years.

  • So you are saying the strategic choice will continue to drive growth even at the cost of profitability at least for now?

    Maybe let us say two years ago 100 percent focus was on growth and on profitability. I would say last 12-18 months it has become at least half-half. So, we are going forward here and going forward probably this probably will be more on profitability and little less on growth.

  • So, not fashion, not e-commerce. What else would you be looking at?

    I am looking at a number of different industries. I have spent some time looking to healthcare, looked at education, financial services and I am just actually quite pleasantly surprised both with the size of this industry, how fast this is growing, how many problems are unsolved and how big a role technology can play. Exactly which problem to work on I will take the next few months to figure that out. In fact healthcare along with fitness and sports, these are a little bit not quite same but related.

  • Are you done with e-commerce and fashion or is that likely to be something that you would want to go back to?

    Absolutely done from the active operating role. So, I continue to be involved in Myntra and Flipkart as both shareholder and advisor. But I have done my bit in terms of operating in the e-commerce business.

  • Would you choose to enter a niche segment like healthcare in the future?

    Having been part of Flipkart for a while, I will go for anything which has a scale.

  • Tell us about your pullout from the Airtel Zero negotiations.

    We evaluated over the last few days and we realized that the way it is designed today, in future it can potentially lead to some violation of net neutrality. As a company, we are very deeply committed to ensuring that the internet in India continues to be very democratic, equally accessible and that is the reason why we decided not to go ahead with this.

  • How will net neutrality have an impact on your net based businesses?

    Internet proliferation and easy, cheap access to all of India is overall a good thing. That is what has benefitted e-commerce in last few years and that will continue to do so. So, we are very optimistic about the growth of the internet especially through mobile phones and being able to keep internet access neutral is a good thing which will help accelerate the growth of the internet.

  • Is there a middle ground to the net neutrality issue?

    Not sure. I think net neutrality principles are very clear. There are a number of ways  — whether it is telecos or other participants of the ecosystem — to continue to help drive the growth of internet including e-commerce players without violating the spirit of net neutrality which requires that the data not be discriminated, big or smaller players are not discriminated and consumers are not discriminated.

  • You have very few e-commerce rivals in the furniture segment, which you are interested in. By when can we expect the furniture segment online?

    This year we are actually focusing on almost all the consumer categories. We are expanding our selection including home and furniture as well. We will get a lot more third-party retailers on board. We focus this year to establish Flipkart as a destination for home and furniture as well.

  • What made you decide to invest heavily in technology automation and data analytics?

    We are focusing on technology. We need to have world-class technology infrastructure. We work with various providers. We will start to have some of the largest data centers and exploring multiple options to build that.

  • Can you tell us how you are working with the government to train and hire employees?

    With Flipkart footprint expanding, we believe there is a huge requirement for training. We are collaborating with the government, giving inputs on what kind of skills are required and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next few years.

  • You have recently shuffled your top management. Tell us about it.

    We continue to tinker with our structure to optimize what our current priorities are. So, it is an ongoing process. This is an ongoing adjustment to make sure our leadership bandwidth is distributed on the big priorities for the organization. We are also focusing on bringing in new leaders in the organization. So, as the size of the business is increasing we have identified new areas that we need to add more leaders into. We have done some reorganization recently and as I said we will continue to work on improving that throughout this year.

  • Does it mean to say that you will be shutting the websites and focus more on the mobile app considering that is the future trend?

    There are different needs of a different platform. There are people who use the computer in some cases. We will focus on all platforms, and we are not looking to close our website.

  • You are now shifting focus to mobile shopping. There is a special mobile app through which consumers can actually buy online. How do you see this trend picking up?

    The mobile platform is a massive trend. In India, most of the internet traffic is through mobile. Over 80 percent of internet traffic is through mobile. This year, we will continue to focus on improving our experience through mobile. We see huge traction of Flipkart mobile app.

  • What is the investment for the mobile app?

    Most of our investment on the technology side is building differentiated experience for consumers, building all the back-end system for supply chain and infrastructure for data centers.

  • How are you ramping up your hiring? By what percent do you expect to increase your employee numbers this year?

    Focus is a lot more on quality than numbers. We are already a pretty large organisation. There is a huge amount of interest in people wanting to work at Flipkart. Our focus would be to get really top technology people and create an environment for us to do good work. There will be sizeable growth probably propionate to the business growth we are expecting this year.

  • You have been elevated on the board of Flipkart. We hear that there is another complete restructuring that is happening currently, first time in seven and a half years. What is your new role and what are the challenges ahead?

    Restructuring is an ongoing process. We will continue to restructure. We are focusing on bringing new leaders into the organization. As the size of the business increases, we are identifying into new areas. We have done some reorganization recently for this process.

  • What makes Bengaluru tick as an e-commerce hub?

    After having spent 10 years in Silicon Valley, I was completely taken in by the valley-like culture of Bengaluru. I was convinced way back in 2007 that Bengaluru will become the silicon valley of India. It is the thriving innovation hub of the country with almost all major tech disruptors based out of here. From the strong tech culture, cosmopolitan nature to great weather all year around, it's a privilege to work here. Bengaluru has become the quintessential melting pot of India where top talent pours in. It is also the first port of call for all the techies returning from the US.

  • What is your favourite Bengaluru moment?

    I regularly go for a walk or a run at Kasavanahalli Lake near my house. Like most Bengaluru lakes, I would note the water level reducing each year and it was not cared for at all. A couple of years ago, I noticed that a small part of it was cleaned and a few saplings planted. As I kept going back, I noticed small improvements -more trees, paved running track and freshly painted benches. Today, it is one of the most beautiful lake trails in the city for a run. Then, I realized that it was the effort of a man! This gentlemen dedicate 3-4 hours every day, generates funds for the lake's upkeep, has planted trees and nurtures them. This is one of the most impressive citizen initiatives that I have seen in Bengaluru.

  • If not Bengaluru, which city would you like to live in?

    Very difficult to say as I don't think one can get everything that Bengaluru has to offer. For the tech capabilities, one can consider Gurgaon. Mumbai is a lot more happening on the culture and creative front. Being a small-town boy from Haridwar, I also dream of moving to a small place like Rishikesh and working from there someday! On a serious note, I would like to stay in either Bengaluru or Silicon Valley. These are the two places that where I get everything needed to pursue my dreams.

  • What was the motive behind writing the book 'No Limits' ?

  • How did cultivate the habit of writing ?

  • How much do you believe in will power and hard work ?

  • How much does fitness matters for you ?

  • How did you come up with CureFit ?

  • What are your goals for the company and where are you right now?

  • What is the company's vision now ?

  • What it takes to build a brand?

  • What is your advice for the budding entrepreneurs to build a brand?

  • How are handling the sustainability of this product?

  • What mindset should an entrepreneur have?

  • How do we make exits at the right time ?

  • How are you looking at profitability of the company?

  • Why should people read 'No Limits' ?

  • Were you clear what to do and where to reach?

  • How much credit for your success would you give to your fitness regime?

  • Why aren't you on social media?

  • Why aren't you on social media?

  • How was your experience working at silicon valley and how did you decided to be an entrepreneur?

  • How did the idea about Myntra came into your mind?

  • What are you looking in a start-up for investment?

  • Are you planning to invest in new start ups?

  • What should we focus on more , scalability or profitability?

  • How do you see Ayurveda and Fitness together?

  • What are your views on preventive healthcare?

  • How to scale up and distribute the work wisely for an entrepreneur?

  • How were your earlier days for getting investors?

  • How much does luck play a role in a start up?

  • Have you ever felt like giving up?

  • Whom do you go for advice?

  • What are the don'ts of start up?

  • What are the don'ts of start up?

  • What are the things you learned , not to do in a business ?

  • How to handle too much of cash flow ?

  • How much the pace of the company is affected by the investors?

  • Do you think the real battle for your company will start in the future?

  • How much does the valuation of a company matters?

  • How was Flipkart different from its competition?

  • What were your biggest lessons in you journey?

  • What has changed in the past decade for start ups?

  • What has changed in the past decade for start ups?

  • How long was your entire start up journey till now?

  • What was the constant factor you had in this entire journey?

  • What changes you came across while changing your work in different areas like first in fashion market and then in fitness?

  • What is your fitness mantra ?

  • Does having a Co-Founder helps during stressful times?

  • What lessons did you learn from entrepreneurship?

  • Are their entrepreneur whom you find particularly impressive in Indian Ecosystem?

  • What do you see in the future ?

  • When launching a new company or product how do you profile customer needs?

  • Is there any trick to know the exact consumer needs you found it in your journey?

  • What according to you is the future of fashion E-Commerce

  • Do you think there's still a long way to go for technology to bridge gaps in Fashion E-Commerce?

  • What was the genesis of Myntra?

  • If not Myntra, what other space would pick for your entrepreneurial journey?

  • How do you feel the difference between selling a service rather than a product in India?

  • What do you think about discounts in the E-Commerce business?

  • What are your views on margins and giving discounts co-existing in a business?

  • When did you decided to change Myntra as a Fashion E-Commerce business?

  • How was the pivot towards being a Fashion E-Commerce?

  • What are your thoughts on inventory model vs marketplace model?

  • What business model was Myntra running on?

  • What led you towards the decision of Myntra-Flipkart merger?

  • Which was the lowest point in your entrepreneurial journey and what made you not give up then?

  • What got you to write this book?

  • Tell us how have you cultivated book writing disciplines within yourself?

  • Why do you believe in there is no difference between ordinary & extraordinary people except there Willpower?

  • Tell us about your orientation towards fitness & fit India?

  • How do sustain your fitness routine regularly?

  • Is it right to say cure fit is also an extension to your belief in fitness?

  • Tell us about why you thought of Cult & where you stand in this business right now?

  • Tell us about why you thought of Cult & where you stand in this business right now?

  • Tell us about why you thought of Cult & where you stand in this business right now?

  • Tell us about why you thought of Cult & where you stand in this business right now?

  • Is there any target figure you have put to yourself to reach people or any other goal vision with cure fit?

  • What & how do you go about the creating brand? Does it require lot of capital to build a brand or capitals comes in?

  • Besides being authentic What would an entrepreneur do who don't have much capital to create brands?

  • How do you go about this sustaining durable enduring product?

  • What are the some of the thinkings you should do for building a good product?

  • What are the some of the thinkings you should do for building a good product?

  • How do we have an extraordinary exit that you have seen?

  • How are you looking towards the buzz word of 2020 i.e Profitability?

  • How are you looking towards the buzz word of 2020 i.e Profitability?

  • Why will people pick up No limits?

  • How do you get to be where you are?

  • How do you get to be where you are?

  • Where you clear about your future goals from the beginning or it kept coming to you with time?

  • Where you clear about your future goals from the beginning or it kept coming to you with time?

  • How much of your success you would give credit to your fitness regime?

  • Why you are not in social media or active in social accounts?

  • What has myntra & cure fit meant to you?

  • What has myntra & cure fit meant to you?

  • What has myntra & cure fit meant to you?

  • Tell us about your early experience of working in silicon valley and what propelled you to become an entrepreneur?

  • How did he idea bout Myntra come about?

  • As an angel investor what do you look for in a start up business?

  • Are you planning to invest in start ups going ahead?

  • How long and how much can we still sustain scalability at the cost of profitability and when is this going to end?

  • How do you see Ayurveda and fitness together?

  • What sort of partnership you are looking for in the space of preventive healthcare?

  • What is your advice to managers of start up to distribute their work?

  • How did you pitch for investment in the early days of Myntra?

  • As an entrepreneur how much do you think luck can play a role?

  • As an entrepreneur how much do you think luck can play a role?

  • Tell us something about the moments of failure in your journey as an entrepreneur?

  • Whom do yo go to for advice?

  • What are the don'ts of starting up?

  • What would you do if you were not an entrepreneur?

  • An entrepreneur that you really admire?

  • What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

  • Which new app you are really interested in nowadays

  • After lock down is over, everyone will try to keep expenses low and try to save money, service bases business will have gard time getting new work and product based business wont get much sales, how to tackle it?

  • What about the investment scenario for the Indian start ups?

  • How will sports and fitness industry manage to survive post lock down?

  • How does one go about spending on building a brand without risking the business model, especially as a start up?

  • What are term in the term sheet of which we should be extra careful from a founder's perspective?

  • What your advice to start ups as they have very hectic schedule?

  • How taking rest and having good amount sleep is important to keep up the productivity?

  • what is your advice to start up regarding equity and finance?

  • What is your plan of action after the lock down?

  • After Covid 19 do you think eating habit of people will have new trends?

  • What is the idea behind offering entire range of services for free online?

  • How is Curefit is handling human resource cost during the lockdown?

  • What is your advice to health & Fitness start ups?

  • Is hyper competition leading to an unproductive spending?

  • What would be your three advice for a bootstrap startup enabling brand and retailers?

  • How organizations would look at technology budgets in this crisis period?

  • How long do you think the fitness industry will take to get back to its normal routine?

  • How can a fashion and lifestyle brand or retailer use technology to amplify the digital dividend?

  • How do you go about hiring unskilled staff?

  • How do you attract top talent?

  • How are you managing cash flow?

  • How has been your journey from fashion e-commerce to healthcare and fitness?

  • What is right way to approach investor now?