Flipkart had earlier added Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy along with HDFC’s Vice Chairman and CEO Keki Mistry, Walmart’s Global Chief Technology Officer Suresh Kumar, and Walmart International’s Executive Vice President of International Strategy and Development Leigh Hopkins to its board as new directors ahead of the planned IPO.
The pandemic has led to millions of people turning to e-commerce for their grocery purchases that has driven the sharp growth in the e-grocery not only in metros but also from tier II cities and beyond.
A little over two months after the IPO-bound Flipkart rejigged its board, Walmart’s e-commerce entity in India has now made key changes in its leadership. According to an internal letter sent to Flipkart’s employees by Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy on Monday, Flipkart has appointed former Unilever veteran Hemant Badri as Senior Vice President of its supply chain operations, effective March 1, 2021. Badri was the Global Vice President of Planning, Analytics & Customer Experience and the Vice President of Planning for European Operations at Unilever’s Headquarters based out of the Netherlands. He was also a member of Unilever’s Global Supply Chain Leadership Team, Krishnamurthy said. A copy of the letter was seen by Financial Express Online.
“In this role, Hemant will be responsible for the Ekart-Myntra Supply Chain and Jeeves – F1 priorities at Flipkart. All the asset leaders currently reporting to Amitesh will now report to Hemant,” Krishnamurthy added.
Apart from strengthening supply chain business, Flipkart also announced changes in leadership looking after its CDO (category design operations) and M3 (Marketing, Merchandising & Monetization) verticals. The company has assigned a new role for Amitesh Jha who has been leading the supply chains at Ekart and Myntra, after-sales service and installation business Jeeves, electronics service provider arm F1 particularly for repair and refurbishment of mobile phones, apart from CX and Marketplace for the last three-and-a-half years. Jha will now “oversee the consumables, softlines, and customer and marketing charters” in the CDO and M3 organisations.
“Amitesh has effectively led Ekart to scale it to become one of the most efficient supply chains in India, enabling us to pass on higher value to our customers every day. His vision has allowed us to make forward-looking investments in infrastructure and capabilities like automation and sustainability to support our long-term growth and customer experience ambitions,” wrote Krishnamurthy. The email noted that Jha will directly manage and mentor Hemant over the next few months to smoothen the leadership transition.
Moreover, Senior VP for grocery, furniture, home, and general merchandise Manish Kumar, VP for customer and marketing charter Nandita Sinha, and VP for lifestyle Nishit Garg will report to Jha, according to the letter.
Changes to Flipkart’s “Fintech and Payment Group organisations” were also announced by Krishnamurthy. Ranjith Boyanapalli who served as its Senior VP will take on the additional charters of CX, marketplace, and the central liquidation team (CLT). “Ranjith is one of our most seasoned leaders and has successfully built a strong fintech and payments business grounds up over the last two years,” added Krishnamurthy.
Flipkart had in December last year added Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy along with HDFC’s Vice Chairman and CEO Keki Mistry, Walmart’s Global Chief Technology Officer Suresh Kumar, and Walmart International’s Executive Vice President of International Strategy and Development Leigh Hopkins to its board as new directors. However, the changes also involved the exit of Steuart Walton, member of the billionaire Walton family from Walmart, Dirk Van den Berghe – the executive vice president, global sourcing and regional chief executive officer of Asia for Walmart, MakeMyTrip’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Rajesh Magow who had rejoined the board back in 2017.
The company is looking to go for an IPO later this year or early 2022. Walmart’s CFO Brett Biggs last year at the UBS Global Consumer & Retail Conference had said in response to a question that “Yes, we’ve talked about longer-term that IPO is a potential for that business. I can tell you, it runs pretty independently right now and that’s when you buy a business like that, that’s what you want it to do.” Flipkart had reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to explore a US-bound IPO to raise around $10 billion even as Walmart had stated in a May 9, 2018 filing with the US SEC that it may take Flipkart public in four years (around 2022) at a valuation no less than what it invested in Flipkart.