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I love building businesses from scratch: Mukesh Bansal

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I love building businesses from scratch: Mukesh Bansal.

By Aditi Shrivastava, ET Bureau | 12 Feb, 2016, 01.11 AM IST.

The popular perception of computer science engineers is that they are nerds, interested in academics, and Mukesh Bansal was no exception.

That is, until he was bitten by the startup bug. But the transformation into a fashionista would come later, after he built and sold one of the country’s most recognised fashion portals—Myntra— to Flipkart.

“My closet is probably ten times bigger than what it was three to four years ago. I have taken a lot of inputs from stylists,” says the dapper 40-year old who graduated from IIT-Kanpur in 1997.

The bookish bent of mind though still remains. He reads at least one book every week, most often on his Kindle. It is this quality of immersing himself in the details even as he drives a growing business, which has catapulted Bansal to the highest echelons of India’s startup industry.

After the acquisition of Myntra in 2014, Bansal has helmed the core online commerce business for Flipkart.

He began work as a software engineer, working first for consulting firm Deloitte and then a series of startups in Silicon Valley. This track record, clearly helped as he returned to India and launched Myntra in Bengaluru in 2007.

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“The key highs that I remember “There are very few entrepreneurs who have scaled like Mukesh has,” says Sethi pointing to the rapid rise in Myntra’s revenues from an estimated Rs 1.4 crore in 2008 to selling goods worth about $100 million by 2014, when it was acquired by Flipkart. “Very few entrepreneurs have scaled like he has,” says Sethi.”

A fitness freak who is up at 5 am for a work-out, Bansal has decided to step away from his post as the head of commerce and advertising at Flipkart to strike out independently.

He plans to take a break for a few months, and “take the kids to the Olympics,” and will ultimately “startup again.” “I love building businesses from scratch and that’s what I will focus on. Right now I don’t have a business plan in mind but I will start thinking about it post my transition is complete,” he told ET.

He won’t have to look too far for backers clearly. One of the earliest investors in his fashion portal said he would invest “1,000%” in Bansal’s new venture. are when we transitioned from personalisation to fashion lifestyle. In some ways it was pretty much killing the business we built over four years and starting afresh,” says Bansal.

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Investors who backed him, rate this pivot as one of his biggest successes. “He executed it to perfection,’ said Sudhir Sethi, founder of technology investment firm IDG Ventures who backed Myntra in 2008.

“There are very few entrepreneurs who have scaled like Mukesh has,” says Sethi pointing to the rapid rise in Myntra’s revenues from an estimated Rs 1.4 crore in 2008 to selling goods worth about $100 million by 2014, when it was acquired by Flipkart.

“Very few entrepreneurs have scaled like he has,” says Sethi.”

A fitness freak who is up at 5 am for a work-out, Bansal has decided to step away from his post as the head of commerce and advertising at Flipkart to strike out independently.

He plans to take a break for a few months, and “take the kids to the Olympics,” and will ultimately “startup again.”

“”I love building businesses from scratch and that’s what I will focus on. Right now I don’t have a business plan in mind but I will start thinking about it post my transition is complete,” he told ET.

He won’t have to look too far for backers clearly. One of the earliest investors in his fashion portal said he would invest “1,000%” in Bansal’s new venture.

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