There is no dearth in news concerning India’s startup ecosystem. Whether it is a controversy or a funding announcement, or even personnel changing allegiances, there is no shortage of startups making headlines. In the last few weeks, there have been some big moves in the pecking order at some of the fastest growing startups and venture capitalist firms. Here is a list of six changes that you should make a note of if you’ve been following the startup space:
- Housing.com finds its interim CEO
Online real estate portal Housing.com has found its interim CEO – Rishabh Gupta. The company had been courting controversies in recent times, on account of its former CEO Rahul Yadav. The investors and other stakeholders finally stepped in and appointed Rishabh as the interim CEO.Rishabh, a former employee of Flipkart, had been effectively running Housing at the time when investors and Rahul were not seeing eye to eye. Apart from Rishabh, Haresh Chawla (Housing's first angel investor) and Abhishek Anand (CTO) will also join the operating committee.
- Flipkart sees a couple of top-level exits
Amod Malviya, CTO of Flipkart has quit his fulltime role with the company and will be a part of its newly created advisory board. Apart from Amod, Sameer Nigam, the head of engineering has also called it quits. Sameer is believed to have quit the startup to pursue his own ambitions. He had earlier founded Mime360, a digital distribution platform, which was acquired by Flipkart in 2011.It is interesting to note that the duo quit at a time when Flipkart decided to move on to an app-only strategy by September this year.
- Startup veteran crosses over to the other side
- Twice successful with his entrepreneurial abilities, Alok Goel has now moved over to the other side of the table with his appointment as the managing director of SAIF Partners. Alok was previously heading FreeCharge.in as the CEO and was the COO of redBus.in prior to that. He is well known in the industry for closing two of the biggest M&A in the Indian internet ecosystem with the acquisition of Freecharge by Snapdeal and redBus by Naspers. SAIF Partners, the venture capital firm, has over USD 4 billion under management. Speaking on his appointment, Alok said, “SAIF Partners has one of the finest portfolios in the industry today. I am excited to be a part of this team and leverage my experience in Internet and mobile businesses to help early-stage companies become world-class businesses”.Airtel’s Anand Chandrasekaran is now with SnapDeal
Snapdeal, the e-commerce rival of Flipkart and Amazon has been firing on all cylinders as far as hiring is concerned. In a recent move, it has brought Anand Chandrasekaran on board from Airtel. Formerly the chief product officer at Airtel, Anand led the product strategy for Airtel’s music streaming service Wynk and Airtel Money. He also played a key role in the launch of Airtel Zero.An alumnus of Stanford University, Anand will be serving a broad leadership role where he’ll steer Snapdeal toward creating an ecosystem of products and services like that of China’s Alibaba group.
- Ola appoints a VP of New Initiatives
Ola, India’s leading mobile app for personal transportation, has announced the appointment of Sundeep Sahni as its vice president of New Initiatives. In his previous role, Sundeep was the co-founder and managing director of Lazada Indonesia. Lazada is South East Asia’s biggest e-commerce company, backed by players like Rocket Internet and Temasek Holdings. Sundeep joins Ola with an experience spanning nine years. He will be part of Ola’s core leadership team.Speaking of his new role at Ola, Sundeep said, “Ola under Bhavish has revolutionised the personal transportation space in India and has made a real impact in the lives of millions of its customers and partners in a big way. I look forward to executing on the company’s mission and working with the amazing team at Ola."
- Vispi Daver to join GSF as Venture Partner
Based in Silicon Valley, Vispi Daver has been successfully doing early stage investments in India and the US for the last 10 years. He has now joined Rajesh Sawhney's GSF as a venture partner. At GSF, a venture partner is either an accomplished startup founder, a seasoned executive with deep domain expertise, or an investor with networks in global geographies relevant to GSF portfolio companies.Most recently, Vispi launched his own seed-stage venture programme. He sits on the board of three portfolio companies in India: Lybrate (Mobile Healthcare), Browntape (e-commerce, GSF Batch II startup), and whatfix (Enterprise SaaS, GSF batch III startup). Prior to this, Vispi was with Sierra Ventures, a technology-focused VC fund, where he was responsible for software investments in the US and the driving of the firm’s investments in India. His investments in India at this time include MakeMyTrip (Nasdaq MMYT), CarWale and Seedfund.
(image credit: Shutter Stock)
In your professional career, you are always presented with two choices – one, is to take the safe route, join a big company and climb up the ranks, picking up more qualifications along the way. The second, more exciting option is to take the plunge into the rough seas of the startup world. It’s all guts and glory, where falling is hard and rise is rapid; your work speaks for you and in a few short years, you are acquainted with every aspect of running a company and are an integral part of the company’s decisions.
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