Impressive Success Story Of A Regular Delivery Boy Becoming Multi-Millionaire
A man who started with a four-figure salary is now one of Flipkart's most beloved employees, India's best-known e-commerce destination. His story is another clear example of the miracles that dedication and hard work can do.
Ambur Iyyapa grew up in Vellore, Tamil Nadu with a very common upbringing. After school, he came to Hosur, 125 km from his hometown, to follow a course. This allowed him to complete a year's internship with heavy vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland. After that, he moved to Bangalore and got a job as a carrier at First Flight Couriers. It was here that he discovered and honed his logistics skills. In four years, he stepped back and became logistics manager for all entry posts for South Bengal.
Ambur thought it was a safe time to improve his skills and decided to take a three-month course. He applied for a license and completed a diploma. But when he returned, he was shocked. His job at the company was no longer vacant and he found he had nowhere to go. Fortunately for him, he heard from the courier that Flipkart was looking for an in-house logistics worker. At the time, Flipkart was nothing more than a small and almost imperceptible online bookseller.
He contacted his office and met with Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who were very concerned about the problems in the distribution system. He assured them of a solution and became the first employee to receive a salary of Rs 8,000. Sachin admits, "We weren't looking for much. We wanted someone who could speak English and use a computer."
Iyyapa's rich memory came to his aid as he devised inventive ways to coordinate with bids to ensure customers remain enthusiastic. If the distributor reported that a seller did not have the book the customer wanted in stock, Iyyappa would not waste time calling another supplier who has the book in stock and making sure it was delivered to the customer. Then he immediately called another messenger who was on that route and asked him to pick up and drop off the book.
It provided all the information the customer wanted to know without even looking at the computer. He became so vital to the organization that his number was listed as Flipkart's customer support number! He started taking ownership and making the necessary operational changes when he asked the deliverers to take a printout from the nearest cybercafe instead of coming to the office, which made it all easier. Bansals were extremely happy to have such a dedicated employee and offered him promises in their growing organization. It was big gold for him because the value of the stock grew exponentially as Flipkart grew. In one year, he increased his salary 10 times. Since then, Ambur has sold its shares for the first time twice in 2009-2010, for wedding expenses and again in 2013.
"In Flipkart's history, people have joined at different times because Flipkart's trajectory has changed in a material way," Binny points out. "Iyyappa was the first of them."