More changes at Flipkart - rejigs technology leadership second time in a year


After being marked down by Morgan Stanley last month for the second consecutive time, Flipkart is in news again.

According to Mint, e-commerce firm Flipkart has reshuffled its technology team for the second time in a year, elevating their Engineering Head Peeyush Ranjan to the role of Group Chief Technology Officer.

In his new role, Peeyush is expected to head technology strategy while looking into areas of mobile technologies and machine learning at Flipkart. Peeyush had joined the company in April 2015 from Google.

Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Co-founders of Flipkart

While Peeyush’s role has been split into two, the e-commerce giant has also hired former Amazon and Micromax Informatics executive Ashish Agarwal as senior Vice President of Engineering. Ashish is expected to join the company this month and is expected to head the engineering division of Flipkart's consumer shopping experience.

Reports say that another senior Vice President, Hari Vasudev has also been promoted to head the technology function of two of Flipkart’s most important businesses –marketplace and Ekart. Both Hari and Ashish will report to Binny Bansal who was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer earlier in January. Hari is also expected to report to Saikiran Krishnamurthy, the head of Ekart, Flipkart’s logistics arm.

Flipkart also seems to have a new product head. In mid-April Punit Soni put speculation to rest, by leaving Flipkart, abandoning the position of the Chief Product Officer (CPO). The place has now been filled by another former Google executive Surojit Chatterjee.

The quits

Over the last four months, Flipkart has seen some of its most senior executives leaving the company. Right after the appointment of Binny Bansal as the new CEO, Mukesh Bansal, Chairman of Myntra and Head of Commerce at Flipkart, left the company along with Chief Business Officer Ankit Nagori.

A few days after, even Manish Maheshwari who was heading the seller business, left to become the CEO of the Network 18 group. Soon after, Punit Soni also resigned from his position in April.

The trouble hasn’t ended for Flipkart there. Just last month, Flipkart was in news for deferring its campus recruitments by six months. If that wasn’t enough, Morgan Stanley marked down the valuation of its holding in the company, further by 15.5 per cent, bringing down Flipkart’s value from $15.2 billion (as of last July) to $9.39 billion.

Times seem to be a bit tough for homegrown e-commerce companies as arch rival Amazon India is looking to gain the top spot with its parent pledging an additional $3 billion investment for the India arm.

Earlier this year Amazon saw its market share (in terms of shipments) rise to over 21 percent from 14 percent, making it the only major player to increase its share from a year ago. Flipkart, currently stands at 37 per cent market share slipping from 43 per cent (as of March 2015).