Walmart Ousts Indian Tech Icon Flipkart

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Image: Walmart

Binny Bansal is the co-founder of one of the most successful startups to come out of India. He created the e-commerce giant Flipkart around a decade ago. After all this time, his company finally sold its controlling stakes to Walmart. Only a few days after the deal was finalized, Walmart has decided to probe a case from years ago. This puts Bansal in a questionable light. Resulting circumstances have led Bansal to resign from his position. An independent investigation has found no evidence of any wrongdoing.
Binny Bansal, the 37 years old tech icon from India, has refused to comment on the situation. Similarly, Walmart representatives have also been silent on the matter.

The Case

Reporters found deeper details of the case around Bansal after piecing dozens of unclear interviews together. Allegations of sexual misconduct against Bansal came into view shortly after Bansal signed a controlling stake of 77% in Flipkart to Walmart. There had been a battle for these stakes between Amazon and Walmart for quite a while. Then Walmart agreed to pay $16 billion in May of 2018.
The accuser is a woman who was in an extramarital affair with Bansal some time ago. She contacted executives when the deal between Flipkart and Walmart was near signing. The accuser claims Bansal assaulted her in 2016. Walmart has stated that their main issue with Bansal was that he did not disclose this case during their agreement.
Walmart has announced that the allegation is of ‘serious personal misconduct.’ They also initiated an independent probe into the matter. The investigation did not find any evidence. However, Walmart says:

“It did reveal other lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign.”

Reactions

The person who ousted Bansal is from Bentonville Ark but has left Indians on the other side of the world shocked. Friends and employees at Flipkart in Bangalore find the explanation utterly unsatisfying and weird. The employees are worried and concerned about the Flipkart leadership. The uncertain future facing these leaders is making the workers concerned for their futures. These people saw the timing of Bansal’s resignation as suspicious. Moreover, Bansal’s co-founder also left the company after the deal with Walmart was final.
Also read: Walmart is ready to launch an AI lab in its retail store
Kannan Ramaswamy is a professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. Ramaswamy specializes in management strategy. He says:

“Like it or not, Bansal is one of the very successful entrepreneurs in the country and India likes to claim such heroes as its own, so I don’t think this issue will disappear. There has to be more information forthcoming.”

People have speculated on analyzing Bansal as the proof of India’s rise. This blatant disregard of lack of evidence by Walmart is raising questions.
Bansal’s resigning email says:

“Thank you for all the goodwill that you’ve shown towards me over the years. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to help get us to where we are today.”

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