Binny Bansal, co-founder and COO of India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart, has taken over as its CEO while co-founder Sachin Bansal, who has been holding chairman and CEO positions, will now be executive chairman, a communique on the company’s website stated.
“In his role as executive chairman, Sachin will provide strategic direction for Flipkart, mentor senior leadership and look for new investment opportunities,” it said.
He will also play an active role in championing the cause of Indian e-commerce sector and building the internet ecosystem besides representing the company in external forums. He has already been chairman of the board. The new designation means he would be less closely involved in day-to-day affairs of the firm.
Binny as CEO will now be responsible for operationally driving the company and will be accountable for Flipkart’s overall performance. All the business areas – commerce, logistics unit Ekart and lifestyle venture Myntra will now report to Binny. All corporate functions including HR, finance, legal, corporate communications and corporate development will also report to Binny.
Mukesh Bansal, co-founder of Myntra who joined the firm after selling it to Flipkart, will continue to be the head of the commerce platform, Flipkart’s core business, and will have additional responsibility of the ads business. Mukesh will also continue in his role as chairman of Myntra, the statement said.
For eight-year-old Flipkart, which is valued around $15 billion and seen as a symbol of India’s e-commerce boom, this is a major top-level reshuffle with one co-founder making way for the other to be at the helm of its affairs. “In this next phase of the journey, it will be our endeavour to prove that India can produce a
world-class internet company that can outshine any global behemoth. We also want to continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the internet and the commerce ecosystem of India,” said Sachin Bansal, executive chairman of Flipkart, in the statement.
“At Flipkart, we have come a long way in our eight-year journey. Today, we are in a very strong leadership position with over 60 per cent market share of the m-commerce market, 50 million customers and a clear leadership in smartphones and fashion,” said Binny Bansal, the new CEO.
“We will continue to build world-class customer experience, expand our supply chain infrastructure to reach all parts of India, drive innovations in mobile commerce and bring in disruptive technologies,” he added.
Mukesh Bansal, head of Flipkarts core market place, who joined the firm after the merger of his company Myntra with Flipkart in mid-2014, is serving as a member of the board.
After announcing the leadership change through Twitter, Sachin Bansal tweeted;
— Sachin Bansal (@_sachinbansal) January 11, 2016
Reacting to his appointment as CEO, Binny Bansal tweeted:
— binnybansal (@binnybansal) January 11, 2016
IIT classmates and colleagues at Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded Flipkart in 2007. With fund infusion led by Accel Partners and Tiger Global, its valuation rapidly went up in the recent years and founders Sachin and Binny debuted last year on the Forbes India Rich List at No. 86 with a net worth of $1.3 billion each. Binny at 32 was the youngest in the list.
Rising competition from Amazon, which has ambitious investment plans in India, and the homegrown rival Snapdeal, which is backed by SoftBank and Alibaba, could pose tough challenges to the new CEO Binny Bansal.