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Flipkart's 'Big Billion Day': From behind the scenes

The mega sale meant 50 tonnes of copper, 700,000 man hours, 800 km of cabling and 30 km of optic fibres airlifted from abroad


Nivedita Mookerji  |  New Delhi 

Even as Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale in October clocked a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $100 million, the event was marred by glitches, and promoters Sachin and Binny Bansal had to apologise. But if details of scale behind the scenes are anything to go by, the company had made extensive preparations for the event. The event was planned over more than 700,000 man hours (six months of work put in by 280 people over 14 hours every day) to get the back-end systems ready.

The additional capacity created for the mega sale was higher than had done through the seven years since its launch in 2007, an executive from the company’s IT team said.

Read more from our special coverage on "FLIPKART"

  • It took more than 700,000 man hours (six months of work put in by 280 people over 14 hours every day) of planning to get the back-end systems for The Big Billion Day ready
  • As much as 50 tonnes of copper were moved across the country for cabling. It meant more than 800 km to be ready for the sale.
  • Also, 50 km of fibre-optic cable — 30 km flown in from outside of India — was laid.

As much as 50 tonnes of copper was moved across the country for cabling. In terms of spread, it meant more than 800 km — about the distance between Mumbai and Udaipur, or Delhi and Gandhinagar — to be ready for the mega sale. Additionally, 50 km of fibre-optic cable — 30 km of that airlifted from outside of India — was laid.

The company subscribed to more than 350 MB of MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) bandwidth. On top of that, around 1,200 data cards were pressed into action to ensure there was no site cut-off from the system. According to Sathish Udupi, vice-president (IT), became one of the top five bandwidth consumers in India in the run-up to the ‘Big Billion Day’ sale.

Roughly, more than 2,000 systems, 3,500 scanners, 1,200 printers, 300 routers, 300 firewalls and 300 switches were in use. Apart from hardcore technology, a total of 350,000 minutes of calls were made during the preparatory phase — calls made by internal teams to the vendors and partners.

Mindful that it should not get another round of bashing in social media, Flipkart, which is in the process of next round of fundraising, is sure to put its technological prowess to use again, soon.

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First Published: Sat, December 20 2014. 22:47 IST