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Myntra names McKinsey’s Ananth Narayanan as CEO; Mukesh Bansal to become chairman

Ananth Narayanan

Ananth Narayanan

Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra has appointed McKinsey India director Ananth Narayanan as chief executive officer. He will be taking over from Myntra’s co-founder Mukesh Bansal who will assume the role of board chairman, as per a press statement.

Bansal, who joined Flipkart after it acquired Myntra Designs Pvt Ltd last year, was recently made head of Flipkart’s commerce platform and looks after the firm’s day-to-day operations.

As Myntra’s chairman, Bansal will be “actively involved in contributing to Myntra’s vision, strategy and overall direction,” the company said in a statement.

Narayanan is currently director at McKinsey and has worked with the firm for 15 years across four offices—Chicago, Shanghai, Taipei and Chennai. He will start working at Myntra’s Bangalore headquarters from October 1 and will report to Myntra’s board.

Narayanan’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Myntra which recently killed its web presence to go app-only. Flipkart too is said to be treading a similar path and plans to be an app-only platform by September.

Myntra said it hopes to become profitable by 2016-17 as it phases out discounts and generates higher margins from online apparel sale.

Flipkart and its closest rival Snapdeal have been strengthening their senior management teams over the last few months.

Recently, Flipkart roped in two Silicon Valley expatriates, namely Eric Lange (former vice president of Yahoo’s analytics wing) and Dan Rawson (ex- general manager at Amazon’s fulfilment business).

Prior to that, Myntra appointed former Google executive Ambarish Kenghe as senior vice president and product head.

Flipkart also hired IT industry veteran Ravi Garikipati in a newly created position – entrepreneur in residence. In April, it roped in Hari Vasudev (Yahoo), Anand KV (Hathway) and Manish Maheshwari (txtWeb), to spearhead supply chain, customer experience and seller ecosystem verticals, respectively. Earlier, the firm had named Saikiran Krishnamurthy from McKinsey as chief operating officer (COO) of its commerce division.

Last year, Flipkart raised $1.9 billion in three rounds of funding from both new and existing investors as it has been building a war-chest to compete with Amazon and local competitors such as Snapdeal.

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