Why the Flipkart Sale is the biggest wake-up call ever

By the time I crashed last night, I was really depressed. My newsfeed was full of shares from educated folk – old and young, telling me that the Flipkart sale was the biggest scam ever – a clearance sale with recently readjusted discounts on MRP.

The customers are not idiots, we live in a connected informative age, there is no way we can be fooled, please don’t be fooled, be aware – that is what my social networking newsfeed was screaming at me the entire day with that occasional intervening tweet about the internal errors of Flipkart’s servers.

All in all I was told by Economic Times and many others, it was a Black Monday and Flipkart should have known better and done better.


Jeez guys, give them a break. They have been around for seven years now. They have exceptional operational service, brilliant exchange and return policies, major reasons for their loyal customer base. They have suffered but they have never let their customers suffer. No other Indian e-shopping even comes close to the diversity, discounts and service they offer.

So what if the BigBillionDay sale was a clearance sale? Aren’t all sales?

So what if they manipulated the discounts a bit, don’t all the others? At least they did not resort to that famous showroom gimmick of strategically placing the new arrivals right next to the sales section.

So what if the site crashed now and then – can one of those haters please give us the numbers – the traffic on the site, the number of sales made, the number of cart-add failures and also a comparison with a similar attempt made by any other e-commerce portal in the world?

The BigBillionDay sale was not about scamming Indian customers. Admit it we Indians get scammed all the time – by our parents, by our teachers, by our government, by our lovers and by our beloved media – all the bloody time.


The BigBillionDay sale was about an indigenous company dreaming a big dream – of making a billion that day. An adventurous dream of handling all that user traffic and processing all those transactions and also dispatching the lakhs of orders the very next day. It was the first national level online marketing endeavour; it was our biggest virtual sale.

But we Indians, we are too critical. The reason, many say, a Satya Nadella can succeed only in an America.

What is this obsession with a presupposed idea of perfection?

Flipkart took a brave step, Flipkart dared to dream. And it hoped that its loyal customers would be supportive. Alas, it seemed to have asked too much from a people it dutifully served for the past seven years.

What breaks my heart is the way that it has been covered. Why is there no article which says –

…Flipkart dreamed of a sale to end all sales and it came quite close to it. Handling online traffic of xyz lakh active users is no small task and with a few glitches here and there the site managed to do well…Here are the abc sectors it can work upon for the next time and here are the 123 things it should definitely keep in mind …but all in all it was a very new virtual experience, a first of its kind for the country from one of its own companies…

We educated Indians think we know so much better. What a horde of idiots – such negativity, such insecurity. We do not dream and we cannot let others dream. We criticize so openly, so harshly so rudely. We cannot help improvise, or built or better.

I was very sad last night. First the entire #boycotthaider charade and now this unwanted criticism and mockery. I still think we as an educated people can handle it in a better manner. But then that’s me, one of those idiots.


Author: pecsbowen


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