The Indian e-commerce industry is a highly competitive space. The stakes are high, and the participants often lose no chance at one-upsmanship with their rivals. Snapdeal had famously ribbed Flipkart over its app-only strategy, with CEO Kunal Bahl calling it the “most customer unfriendly move”. Snapdeal Chief Product Officer Anand Chandrasekaran had snarkily posted a screenshot of the Flipkart website being down during the app-only sale with the caption, “Guess this is a part of the app-only strategy”. But with Snapdeal under fire from from irate users following brand ambassador Aamir Khan’s comments, the company found support from unlikely quarters.
Flipkart CEO tweeted in defence of Snapdeal, saying that Snapdeal wasn’t responsible for Khan’s comments, and shouldn’t have had to face the backlash it did. Users had submitted hundreds of 1-star reviews on Snapdeal’s app on the Google Playstore, demanding that Khan be fired as Brand Ambassador following his comments about rising intolerance levels in the country.
— Sachin Bansal (@_sachinbansal) November 25, 2015
Flipkart CPO Punit Soni also tweeted his support.
With you guys on this. https://t.co/FLd67fjxzo
— punitsoni (@punitsoni) November 25, 2015
Flipkart is no stranger to users giving its app for reasons that are alien to the company’s performance. Earlier this year, Flipkart’s app had been inundated with 1-star reviews following the company’s stance which appeared to violate net neutrality principles.
Flipkart’s public support for its rival is a heartening sign that India’s startup ecosystem is maturing. Companies might be fierce competitors, but that doesn’t stop them from speaking out in support of other entrepreneurs when they’re being unfairly treated.