Best Fast Dropshipping Service & Business India

Ecommerce major Flipkart, currently pruning its workforce in a push toward profitability, will see at least four senior vice presidents (SVPs) leave, adding to CXO-level exits at the company, according to multiple people in the know.

Travel booking website Cleartrip’s head Ayyappan R, Amitesh Jha who leads marketplace and categories, fintech and payments head Dheeraj A, and Bharath Ram, who spearheads growth and retention at the web retailer, are among the SVPs likely to be on their way out. Jha joined Flipkart in 2010 while Ayyappan has been with the etailer since 2013, among executives with longest tenure at the Bengaluru-based firm.

The development assumes significance amid Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy’s campaign to shore up agility and efficiency.

“Krishnamurthy wants to send a message by tightening the ship,” said one of the people cited above. “Many are comparing this to the 2016 era when he came back to Flipkart for a second innings. Amazon at the time was snapping at his heels and the company went through its toughest few years then. One of the key areas the company wants to address is Flipkart’s bloated, top-heavy structure and bring in agility.”

Dheeraj A had joined Flipkart from Mobikwik in October 2021 while Ram came from Instagram in March 2020.

Sources close to the matter said Flipkart worked with a top consulting firm to help rationalise its organisation structure across levels, the results of which are being implemented now.

Flipkart is also filling up some of the positions being made vacant by the departing executives, according to people briefed on the matter. Meanwhile, Sandeep Karwa–a vice president who was heading the fashion vertical–has moved to the advertisement vertical. Flipkart Fashion is now headed by Arief Mohamad.

The moves come at a time when Flipkart has undertaken performance-based trimming across all verticals, including vice presidents in engineering and product, people familiar with the matter said. Overall, 5-7% of the company’s employees will be impacted by the layoffs, as ET first reported on January 8.

“The mandate is clear– perform and become nimble as a company,” said another person familiar with the developments. “While, over the years, Flipkart would see 5-7% employees leave as part of its performance-linked (reviews), these were largely at the junior level… What has changed this year is senior and CXO-level exits as long-time, senior executives have come under pressure.”

Most of the exits are performance-linked while a few of the executives have left on their own accord, said another person.

“What’s important to note is that a bunch of these (people) were at the company for over a decade across various functions,” the person said.

A spokesperson for Flipkart said it has a deep and wide leadership pool, with many talented executives who have held multiple roles in the organisation.

“With a stable and strong leadership team, we provide our executives with different roles and responsibilities to meet their personal aspirations and also develop well-rounded experience. We will be unable to comment on our internal operations and specifics,” the spokesperson added.

The SVP cohort, which currently comprises about 20 executives, has seen continuous churn over the past year or so with almost 30% of leaders exiting for diverse reasons, said the people cited above.

“From a pool of 23 SVPs, at its peak, around 30% have left over the last one year or so, including Adarsh Menon, Ravish Sinha, Saroj Panigrahy and most recently Krishna Raghavan in October last year… among others,” said one of the persons.

The belt-tightening initiatives at Flipkart come amid talks to close a fresh funding round estimated at $1 billion, out of which $600 million has already been committed by US parent Walmart. A significant chunk of the new capital will be allocated to shape efforts on financial services after the PhonePe separation.

Flipkart is in the final stages of testing its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment service, which will go live early next month on its platform. Flipkart has backed senior executive Prakash Sikaria’s fintech venture after he abandoned plans to leave the company and incubated the venture internally.

Krishnamurthy–at a town hall last month–told employees that Flipkart is closing in on turning profitable as it reduces its monthly cash burn. It will continue to scale its grocery offering and travel business under Cleartrip, he had added.

Cleartrip is said to have hit $1.5-1.7 billion in gross merchandise value, ET had reported last month. Krishnamurthy told his staff in the town hall about the grocery business growing by 50% in the last one year. Its low-price focused commerce vertical Shopsy will also continue to be scaled, besides core businesses such as smartphones, electronics & appliances and fashion. Last week it announced same-day delivery for certain products across 20 cities in India.

Flipkart Internet, which runs the marketplace, reported 42% growth in operating revenue for FY23 to Rs 14,845 crore, while the total loss narrowed 9% to Rs 4,026 crore, according to regulatory filings. In January, Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal left the board, ending his ties with the ecommerce firm formally.

  • Published On Feb 20, 2024 at 08:58 AM IST

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Best Fast Dropshipping Service & Business India

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