Flipkart.com, India’s largest e-commerce platform, named co-founder Binny Bansal as the new CEO and successor to former-CEO Sachin Bansal. Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been named the new chief executive officer of Flipkart as India’s largest online retailer moves cofounder Binny Bansal to a new position as group CEO, in a management reshuffle that strengthens the influence weided by its largest investor Tiger Global and competes a process begun a year ago when cofounder Sachin Bansal ceded the top spot.
In early 2013, Flipkart was in trouble. It had become the early leader in a nascent e-commerce market, received some $200 million in venture capital and fetched a valuation of around 1$billion. But it was besieged by problems: its losses had soared beyond control; sales growth has lower than its co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had promised investors; it was in the middle of a grueling investigation by the Indian government related to foreign investment (FDI) laws, and the entry of Amazon.com Inc, the giant American online retailer, into India was imminent.
Krishnamurthy– a former executive in the New-York based investment firm will be responsible for Flipkart’s profit and losses, making a first for the Indian startup sector where cofounders of the country’s most valued Internet company have handed over the reins to a professional. Tiger Global owns about 35% stake in Flipkart, which was last valued at $15 billion. The investor could be preparing for a public listing for the Bengaluru-based ecommerce player in two to four years, according to senior company executives.
“I will focus on building a portfolio of new high-growth bussinesses, capital allocation across group companies, IPO-readiness and ensure each business of the group portfolio has a strong CEO in place,” Binny Bansal wrote in an email to employees announcing the management changes made on Monday.
Krishnamurthy joined Flipkart last June as head of the core ecommerce business and led the charge to consolidate the company’s lead over arch rival Amazon in the toughly contested season of festival sales.