Flipkart reshuffle gives bigger role to Tiger Global representative, 2 others

Flipkart has created a bigger role for Kalyan Krishnamurthy in an effort to make the company nimbler and streamline its business as it seeks to revive sales growth


Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who started his second stint at Flipkart in June, will now head Flipkart’s marketplace, retail and advertising businesses, according to a note sent by Flipkart to its employees late on Thursday. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who started his second stint at Flipkart in June, will now head Flipkart’s marketplace, retail and advertising businesses, according to a note sent by Flipkart to its employees late on Thursday. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Flipkart has announced yet another organizational change, putting a representative of its largest investor Tiger Global Management in charge of even more departments, as pressure grows on it and other e-commerce marketplaces to deliver results in an increasingly tough environment.

The company has created a bigger role for Kalyan Krishnamurthy in an effort to make the company nimbler and streamline its business as it seeks to revive sales growth.

Krishnamurthy, who started his second stint at Flipkart in June, will now head Flipkart’s marketplace, retail and advertising businesses, according to a note sent by Flipkart to its employees late on Thursday. Mint has seen the note. Krishnamurthy, who earlier worked at Flipkart as both interim finance and retail head, came back to the company in June as senior vice-president, category design, primarily to revive its flagging sales growth. Now, the heads of marketing, private label, marketplace and customer experience product (all together called the “demand” side of the e-commerce platform in Flipkart jargon) functions will report directly to Krishnamurthy, according to the note.

Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who heads Flipkart’s logistics unit Ekart, will additionally oversee the supply side of Flipkart’s marketplace and retail business.

Two other senior leaders have been handed bigger mandates: chief people officer Nitin Seth will now become chief administrative officer and oversee strategy, analytics and planning apart from human resources; and Ravi Garikipati, who was earlier the head of Flipkart’s advertising unit, will now lead engineering. Two current engineering leaders, Hari Vasudev, who headed engineering after chief technology officer Peeyush Ranjan moved back to the US to head the company’s office there, and Ashish Agrawal will report to Garikipati, according to the note.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Saikiran Krishnamurthy, Garikipati and Seth will report to chief executive Binny Bansal. Additionally, Sameer Nigam, who leads Flipkart’s payments arm PhonePe, and Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Flipkart-owned online fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong, will also continue to report to Bansal. Before the reorganization, Bansal had more than 12 executives reporting to him.

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“Towards the goal of creating Flipkart group as an e-commerce conglomerate, organizational changes have been announced with the following three objectives: increasing focus on Flipkart Group; consolidation to simplify organization; creation of top-team with clear accountabilities,” Bansal said in the note.

A Flipkart spokesperson declined comment.

This is Flipkart’s third major reorganization in the past one year. In February 2015, Flipkart split into three units: a commerce platform, supply chain and ads. The thinking behind the move was to help the company venture into a new business, help make Ekart into an independent business and implement a shift to marketplace from an inventory model.

In January, Flipkart named Binny as its new CEO, replacing Sachin Bansal (who became executive chairman) as it sought to stem market share losses to arch-rival Amazon India and bring its losses under control after a disastrous 2015.

Bansal first sought to improve Flipkart’s customer service levels, which had suffered in its attempt to move to a marketplace model. Earlier this year, Flipkart decided to move back to a retail-heavy model.

But the turnaround is far from complete.

The company’s customer service levels have improved but sales growth is still elusive. It sales dropped in July compared with the levels of late last year and the company is in danger of losing its No.1 position to Amazon India.

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