Ahead of IPO, Flipkart adds more talent at the top level

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Bengaluru | April 3, 2015 12:37 AM

Online marketplace Flipkart announced a string of senior-level appointments including...

Online marketplace Flipkart on Thursday announced a string of senior-level appointments including a former Yahoo executive and an entrepreneur, in a move aimed at strengthening its key verticals and to gain scale rapidly ahead of the impending IPO.

The company has roped in Hari Vasudev, a former vice-president and centre head at Yahoo, as senior vice-presiden, engineering, IT and analytics, for the supply chain vertical. At Flipkart, Vasudev will work towards building supply chain products with special emphasis on areas like robotics, mobile, Internet of Things and data sciences.

The e-tailer, which is reportedly on the verge of raising around $600 million, has also appointed Anand KV as senior vice-president, customer experience, commerce. Anand will be responsible for driving the customer experience charter for Flipkart’s marketplace.

It has also recruited txtWeb co-founder Manish Maheshwari as vice-president and head of seller ecosystem to drive seller acquisition, enablement and growth, besides strengthening the seller ecosystem team. Maheshwari is an MBA graduate from Wharton Business School and had earlier worked with McKinsey.

Prior to founding txtWeb, a marketplace for text-based apps, Maheshwari was the head of new markets, global business division at Intuit, a provider of software products for SMEs and retailers. During his eight years at Yahoo, Vasudev had held key positions in the search and platforms teams and worked on a range of end-to-end consumer products and various platform products in the consumer and advertising domains.

“Hari, with his rich experience, has built and scaled organisations across multiple domains in the software industry. His expertise will help us in transforming supply chain in India by using technology to create a highly differentiated customer experience at a very large scale,” said co-founder and COO Binny Bansal. Vasudev has a master’s degree in computer science from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Anand has spent over 18 years in the satellite broadcasting and direct to home satellite television industry across West Asia, Hong Kong and India and worked for organisations like Tata Sky. His last stint, prior to joining Flipkart, was with Hathway Cable and Datacom as president, digital platforms.

Ankit Nagori, senior vice-president, marketplace, said: “Manish’s experience leads to him having a great understanding of SMEs in India. This will add a lot of value to the business as we move towards becoming a best-of-breed seller ecosystem that’s simultaneously centred around the customer.”

Flipkart has made a string of high-level appointments from marquee companies in the recent past in a move to scale up its brand value as well as strengthen key functions. In November last year, the company appointed former Tata Communications global CFO Sanjay Baweja as its CFO. In the same month, the company roped in former Calvein Klein India CEO Rishi Vasudev as vice-president for fashion retail. The induction of Aditya Agarwal, vice-president of engineering at US-based technology firm Dropbox into Flipkart’s board followed soon after. In March this year, Flipkart announced the appointment of former Google top executive Punit Soni as its chief product officer. Soni, also a former vice-president of product management at Motorola, is to lead product innovation at Flipkart for the e-tailer’s consumer products, marketplace and transaction platform. He will drive product strategy, design and product marketing functions to boost Flipkart’s user interface and product solutions.

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