Flipkart might have had its ups and downs in the last few weeks alone, but the co-founders of India’s largest online marketplace have something to cheer about. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have been awarded the ‘Asian of the Year’ award by The Straits Times of Singapore as part of a group called the ‘The Disruptors’, for the year 2016.
According to a press release, the award recognises entrepreneurs “operating at the frontiers of technology's interface with business” who have launched companies that have disrupted traditional business model for the benefit of end consumers.
Tencent founders Ma Huateng and Zhang Zhidong, Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim, Grab founder Anthony Tan, and Razer founder Min-Liang Tan were also named in the list.
“We are truly humbled and honoured to be chosen for this award,” said Sachin and Binny in a joint statement. “It validates our commitment to creating a world-class Internet company that is transforming the lives of Indians by making a high quality lifestyle affordable to them. Flipkart’s innovative steps, aimed at transforming commerce in India through technology, have truly disrupted the market and it makes us proud to be recognised for this achievement. We accept this honour on behalf of all Indians.”
Awarded since 2012, the ‘Asian of the Year’ award recognises “a person or people who have contributed significantly to improving lives at home or in the wider region”. In 2014, the award was given to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in 2015 it was awarded posthumously to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father.
According to the award citation for 2016, the Disruptors have "made the inevitable march of technology easier to understand and accept by millions of people concerned about their old ways of life yielding to an unfamiliar new one." Sachin and Binny are both engineers from IIT-Delhi, and have been instrumental in inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs, with Flipkart becoming the poster child of Indian startup ecosystem.
Sachin and Binny were also featured in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the world earlier this year. They were also named in the list of Forbes Billionaires in 2015- with a networth of $1.3 billion each. It was in early 2016 that Binny took over as CEO, after Sachin moved on to become executive chairman of the 10-year-old company, which now employs more than 30,000 people.