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Flipkart had announced the acqui-hires of AdIQuity in March and Appiterate in late April to boost its push into advertising and mobile commerce, respectively. Photo: Reuters
Flipkart had announced the acqui-hires of AdIQuity in March and Appiterate in late April to boost its push into advertising and mobile commerce, respectively. Photo: Reuters

CEOs of two start-ups acquired by Flipkart resign

Anurag Dod, head of AdIQuity Technologies, and Tanuj Mendiratta, head of Appiterate, have left Flipkart

Bengaluru: The chief executive officers (CEOs) of two start-ups bought by Flipkart Ltd have quit, less than six months after India’s largest e-commerce firm struck these deals.

Anurag Dod, head of advertising technology firm AdIQuity Technologies Pvt. Ltd, and Tanuj Mendiratta, head of mobile marketing firm Appiterate, have left Flipkart, four people familiar with the matter said.

The acquisitions of AdIQuity and Appiterate by Flipkart were seen as acqui-hires.

Acqui-hiring is the strategy of buying a company at a very low price, primarily in order to hire its employees.

The departures of Dod and Mendiratta were unexpected. The employees of AdIQuity and Appiterate remain at Flipkart.

A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the departures of Dod and Mendiratta.

Flipkart announced the acqui-hires of AdIQuity in March and Appiterate in late April to boost its push into advertising and mobile commerce, respectively. CEO Sachin Bansal is leading a push into ads to boost the company’s margins and reduce dependence on discounting to drive sales. AdIQuity’s Dod was expected to help Bansal build the ads business.

In the past, Flipkart has had success with acqui-hires. Two senior tech leaders—Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari—joined Flipkart as part of an acqui-hire after the online retailer bought their digital media distribution firm, MIME360, in 2011.

Though MIME360’s product Flyte (Flipkart’s online music store) closed later, Nigam and Chari became senior tech leaders at the company. Nigam rose to the position of senior vice-president (engineering) before quitting Flipkart last month.

“Appiterate and AdIQuity teams are now well integrated into Flipkart, and senior leadership talent from both companies have taken significant roles at Flipkart," a Flipkart spokesperson said by email. “Attracting top-notch talent is core to Flipkart’s acquisition philosophy, and we have an integration team to ensure that senior talent getting acquired into Flipkart can create significant impact. We can confirm that Anurag Dod and Tanuj Mendiratta have left Flipkart to pursue other external opportunities, and we wish them the best."

Flipkart is looking at a mix of acquisitions and acqui-hires in mobile technology, supply chain and logistics to add millions of users, improve its mobile offering and establish a reputation as a technology powerhouse.

The Bengaluru-based company has been snapping up several start-ups over the past nine months in small deals.

Separately, Ravi Vora, CEO of strategic brands group at Flipkart, has also left the firm. Vora was Flipkart’s marketing head for more than three years before being shifted to a new role.

Vora, whose exit was reported earlier by online news portal Medianama, is the latest senior leader to leave Flipkart. Last month, the company’s top tech leaders—chief technology officer Amod Malviya and Nigam—resigned after the company hired a new tech leadership team from Google Inc.

Vaibhav Gupta, senior vice-president of finance, is also on sabbatical for an unspecified period of time.

The departures of all these executives follow those of Saran Chatterjee, former product head, in June, and Sujeet Kumar, who led WS Retail Pvt. Ltd, a key seller on Flipkart’s online marketplace and its logistics provider, in May.

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