In another development in the Indian e-commerce universe, nation’s largest online retailer, Flipkart has brought back Kalayan Krishnamurthy, former chief financial officer to head category management. Krishnamurthy, who is also a managing director of Flipkart’s largest investor, Tiger Global, will report directly to Binny Bansal.
A spokesman for Flipkart said
“The decision to bring back an old time Flipkart-hand-Kalyan-to strengthen our leadership team, was taken by the management team led by Binny (Bansal). Kalyan will head category desgine organisation and will report to Binny.”
The appointment has aroused the interest especially after the news of Alibaba’s investment in Delhivery and Xpressbees in a bid to strengthen its logistical arm before it forays into the Indian market. It is interesting to note that Tiger Global also holds a board position in Delhivery. This investment on part of Alibaba has been seen as a warning sign by Indian e-commerce giants Amazon India and Flipkart with the former’s CEO Jeff Bezos announcing additional investment of $2 million to $5 million. Although Flipkart didn’t react to Alibaba’s investment then, this high level appointment is clear indicator that India’s largest online retailer is bracing itself against the Chinese Supergiant.
A person involved in the decision of appointment has said that “It’s very critical for Flipkart to win in the next six months”. But the online retailer didn’t seem to be doing very well even against the arch competitor. Amazon has reduced its commission charges while Flipkart is raised the same. This raise didn’t go well with the merchants who have threatened to stop selling on Flipkart.
With Flipkart aiming to become to turn up its profits coming this September, Krishnamurthy, who is widely respected by Flipkart’s executives as a number driven executive will have a behemoth task ahead of him. Samardeep Subandh who was overseeing the category management segment earlier will be working in the marketing segment. Flipkart seems to be building up its own “Iron triangle” of business with other Flipkart veterans returning home including Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari after Flipkart acquired their startup PhonePe and who will be responsible for building a payments business for the enterprise.