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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Flipkart senior vice-president Anand KV exits

Flipkart has promoted Eric Lange and Sachin Kotangale to steer its customer experience unit in place of Anand K.V.

Flipkart has promoted Eric Lange and Sachin Kotangale to steer its customer experience unit after senior vice-president Anand K.V. who led the unit left the company, at least two people aware of the developments said.

Anand, who was one of Flipkart’s dozen-plus senior vice-presidents, left in August, one of the two people said. Prior to Flipkart, Anand spent over 18 years in the satellite broadcasting and television industry across the Middle East, Hong Kong and India in companies such as Star India Pvt. Ltd, Tata Sky Ltd and Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd.

Following his exit, Flipkart has expanded the portfolios of executives such as Lange and Kotangale who are now jointly leading the customer experience unit, the people mentioned above said.

Another Flipkart executive Prakash Tilwani, who joined from Amazon India last year, has also put in his papers, the people mentioned above said. Tilwani was a vice-president overseeing supply chain planning and optimization.

The exits come a year after Flipkart made several senior appointments and appointed former Yahoo India executive Hari Vasudev and Anand as senior vice-presidents at the company, overseeing supply chain and customer experience respectively.

A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the developments.

Flipkart and Amazon India are currently in the middle of a festive season showdown, with the former trying to retrieve market share lost to the latter over the past 12 months.

If Flipkart manages to sustain the momentum of its successful Big Billion Days sale, the company may be able to raise more funds at its desired valuation.

Flipkart’s business and advertising head Kalyan Krishnamurthy has set aggressive sales and product selection targets and is pushing top executives to meet them as part of chief executive Binny Bansal’s broader strategy of improving customer service levels.

Krishnamurthy, a former executive at Flipkart’s largest investor Tiger Global Management, is also pulling up underperforming executives and promoting leaders he feels are up to the task of turning around Flipkart, the people mentioned above said.

In August, Krishnamurthy brought back two old hands, Amitesh Jha and Sandeep Karwa, Mint reported. Jha and Karwa were among the key leaders in Flipkart’s mobile and electronics categories in 2014, when exclusive deals with Motorola and Xiaomi drove the e-commerce firm’s sharp sales growth.

Jha and Karwa later moved to roles in supply chain and product management, respectively. At that time, Flipkart also put four vice-presidents in charge of categories—Jha, Adarsh Menon, Ajay Yadav and Rishi Vasudev.

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