Last week Flipkart announced that the company has sold over 150 million products on its platform. While on the one hand the achievement gives us an idea of the massive growth of ecommerce over the last decade in India, when compared to Taobao’s sales of more than 2.5 billion products annually(2014), we get to see another picture of scale and opportunity.
The founders of ecommerce giants would have sniffed this scale a while ago and started looking for experts who can build the architecture and systems to support it. Over the last five months, Flipkart has announced some high profile hires from Silicon Valley. After Punit Soni joined as the Chief Products Officer, Peeyush Ranjan, who also belonged to the Google gang(like Punit), was offered to head engineering and technology at the firm. In his previous role, Peeyush had played an important role in the launch of Moto-G and Moto-E. Continuing the IIT-Kharagpur legacy in the company(previous CTO Amod Malviya was also an IIT-Kgp alumnus), Peeyush just completed three months in the company.
In the three months that he has been at Flipkart, Peeyush has inculcated his years of learning here. He has been focusing on the new users and mobile strategies given the major representation of mobile users (and shoppers) on the platform. Peeyush shared some of his experiences and learning at MobileSparks in building products for billions of users. He likened the experience to one of building a cathedral; the product becomes the religion.
We also spoke to him about the strategies adopted by the company for mobile first and mobile only users. He also shared his perspectives on the challenges of scaling up and supporting millions of user transactions while making sure that the experience keeps getting better. Peeyush envisions the future of e-commerce to be converging the way commerce happens in the physical world. He believes that there’s a need to introduce a lot of customisation to the shopping experiences in the Indian ecommerce market as it’ll be responsible for exponential growth of the market (similar to what cash-on-delivery did in 2010).
(Video editing: Anjali Achal)