Softbank President Nikesh Arora quits, Flipkart hires back old executives and Jabong CPO quits to start up – 10 personnel movements of this week

25th Jun 2016
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The third week of June seems to be putting the focus back on human resources for the Indian startup ecosystem. This includes not just startups but also VC firms that are trying to figure out their strategy for the months to come.

With big shuffles taking place almost every single day this week, here’s a quick recap of the top executive movements that caught our eye.

Nikesh Arora quits Softbank
Nikesh Arora quits Softbank


  • IvyCap Ventures appoints Lipika Rajpal as senior investment professional

Late last Friday, IIT Alumni Trust-sponsored venture capital firm IvyCap Ventures announced getting Lipika Rajpal on board as a senior investment professional.

In her earlier roles, Lipika was a part of the investment team for CX Partners. She was handling its mezzanine fund, CX Intermediate Capital Fund.

In the past, Lipika had also worked with SBI Capital Markets, focussing on arranging project finance of over $6 billion for large corporations in the oil and gas and chemicals sector. She has also worked as a portfolio manager with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Lipika Rajpal
Lipika Rajpal


  • Jabong CPO Saurabh Goel quits to launch his own venture

After serving eight months in the company, Saurabh Goel, the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Jabong had quit to launch his own venture in the financial technology space. Confirming the news that came last Saturday, Saurabh said that his startup,, will be launched in July.

While looking for his replacement, the recently appointed Jabong’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Muralikrishnan B, will be looking after Saurabh’s role for the moment.

This is the second senior exit for Jabong, with Chief Marketing Officer Saurabh Srivastava also making an exit from the company in February.


  • Genpact appoints Carol Lindstrom to Board of Directors

Business process and information technology services company Genpact announced on Monday that it had appointed Carol Lindstorm to its Board of Directors, with immediate effect.

Carol recently retired as Vice-Chairman of Deloitte LLP, where she led strategic relationship management, and was also president of the Deloitte Foundation. She was a member of the Deloitte & Touche Board of Directors for six years and served on the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) Global Board of Directors for eight years, said the press statement.


  • To revitalise brand Flipkart, CEO Binny Bansal is bringing old executives back

It was reported on Monday, that since his appointment in January, CEO Binny Bansal has got at least three former senior executives back to Flipkart.

This also marked the news of Kalyan Krishnamurthy joining back in his earlier role as Head of Categories. Kalyan, who was an executive at Flipkart’s investor Tiger Global Management, had left the company in November 2014.

Further, Flipkart had acquired mobile payments startup PhonePe in April this year, to get x-Flipkart executives Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari back to the company.

Sameer was Senior Vice President of Engineering when he left Flipkart in July 2015, while Rahul held the role of Vice President of Supply Chain before quitting last November.

Another old executive whom Binny seems to be trying to bring back is Vaibhav Gupta.

Earlier this month, the company witnessed a complete rejig in their technology leadership with Engineering Head Peeyush Ranjan being elevated to the role of Group Chief Technology Officer.

Former Amazon and Micromax Informatics executives Ashish Agarwal is also expected to join Flipkart this month as Senior Vice President of Engineering.

Peeyush Ranjan
Peeyush Ranjan is now Group Chief Technology Officer at Flipkart
  • PayPal appoints Anupam Pahuja as India Managing Director & Country Manager

Payment platform PayPal, on Wednesday, announced the appointment of Anupam Pahuja as its Country Head for India. Having been there with PayPal for the last six years, Anupam was heading technology for APAC at the company, previously. He was instrumental in establishing PayPal’s technology centres in India.

In his new role, Anupam will be responsible for all aspects of PayPal’s India business and further strengthening the company’s operations in India.

Prior to PayPal, Anupam was the Managing Director for India for e-learning company SumTotal Systems.


  • Amit Lakhotia, VP, Payments, Paytm joins Indonesian startup Tokopedia

After a three-and-a-half-year-long run, it was reported that Amit Lakhotia, Vice President of Payments at Paytm, had quit in January to take a break and pursue other interests.

This week, reports emerged that Amit had moved on to join Indonesia’s biggest online marketplace Tokopedia. Tokopedia is into customer to customer (C2C) retail where it provides a platform for individual entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses to open their online stores.


  • Kalaari Capital strengthens investment team with 3 new appointments

On Thursday, Bengaluru-based venture capital fund Kalaari Capital announced that it had strengthened the leadership team, with three appointments in the investment and operations team.

It had roped in former Bain & Company consulting partner Prashanth Aluru as a partner, former HR Head of e-commerce firm Myntra Pooja Gupta to head the HR portfolio, as well as made the first senior hire for its seed programme Kstart, by appointing Muthiah Venkateswaran as partner.

Previously, Muthiah had worked with McKinsey and Texas Instruments.

Now, the VC firm is also looking to add executives for functions like legal, technology and marketing, after having appointed a head for its HR function.

Prashanth will focus on investments across enterprise software, consumer Internet, cloud, big-data analytics, healthcare tech and logistics.


  • ePsyClinic appoints Rohit Shrivastava as its Chief Technology officer

Online healthcare platform ePsyClinic on Thursday announced that it had got Rohit Shrivastava on board as their Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

His experience spans more than 15 years, working in various sectors such as healthcare, telecom, banking, security and e-learning, and will use his expertise to boost the technological infrastructure and service optimisation of the company.


  • Nokia appoints Sanjay Malik India head

Today, Nokia announced the appointment of Sanjay Malik as the head for their Indian market, effective from August 1.

Malik currently heads the Network Implementation (NI) at Nokia Global Services and is credited with efficiently driving growth and delivering strong performance both in terms of revenue and operational efficiency.

In his new role, he will lead customer operations, drive the business growth strategy and superior customer engagement services for the India market. He will be based in Gurgaon.

But the biggest news of them all dropped on Tuesday, when Softbank President and COO Nikesh Arora announced quitting the Japanese firm.


Just a day after Softbank had announced clearing Nikesh Arora of purported shareholder claims, the investment major announced that Nikesh would be resigning from the position of Representative Director and Director of SBG with effect from Wednesday.

However, Nikesh confirmed on Twitter that he would continue to support SoftBank for a year as an advisor, while supporting the startups he has invested in.

With the competition getting tougher against the incumbents, it will be interesting to see how companies will try to retain their best talent while building on the necessary resources to reach the next level of growth.

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