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Flipkart, India’s largest e-retailer, shifts its top management

January 11, 2016 10:10 AM
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(Bloomberg)—After an eight-year stint heading India’s biggest online retailer, Sachin Bansal is becoming executive chairman of Flipkart, No. 15 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Asia 500, and handing over the CEO’s job to co-founder Binny Bansal.

Binny will take responsibility for all business areas including delivery operator Ekart and apparel retailer Myntra, while Sachin will mentor senior executives and seek new investment opportunities, the company said on its blog Monday. Binny will continue overseeing the logistics and delivery operations until a successor is appointed, according to the statement. The two Bansals aren’t related.

Sachin, who started Flipkart as a bookseller with Binny eight years ago after they both worked as engineers at Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, will also represent the company in external forums and continue as chairman of Flipkart’s board.

Flipkart has grown to become India’s biggest seller of everything from apparel to smartphones online, according to Goldman Sachs in a report last May. At its most recent funding round, the Bangalore-based Internet retailer was valued at more than $15 billion according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and counts New York’s Tiger Global Management LLC and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. among its biggest investors.

The management change comes as Flipkart, Amazon and SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Snapdeal.com (No. 47 in the Asia 500) are locked in a three-way battle for dominance in a market projected to be worth $220 billion by 2025. The three companies have resorted to spending heavily on advertising and deep discounting in their fight to win customers.

“At Flipkart, we have come a long way in our eight-year journey,” Binny Bansal said in the statement. The company currently commands over 60% of the mobile commerce market, has 50 million customers and leads its competitors on smartphone and fashion sales, according to the incoming CEO.

Binny Bansal had said in October the company expects to be profitable in as soon as two years and could file for an initial public offering in the next two to five years. Flipkart posted web sales of about $1 billion in 2014.

 

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