Meet The People Who Run Flipkart Beyond The Bansals
It's definitely not a 'two-man' show at Flipkart, India's largest e-tailer which clocked sales (our guess of gross merchandise value or GMV) of Rs 500 crore (factoring out the recent ups and downs in forex rates, around $100 million) in FY2011-12, a ten-time increase from FY2010-11. The key to success has been the execution and that essentially means the people working for Flipkart. Currently, the company has on board a 4,800-strong team (check out our previous story on how Flipkart grew last year, right out of the horse's mouth!). So, even as the co-founders â€“ Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal â€“ have been the face of Flipkart, there is now a senior team in place who are the real people behind Flipkart as we know it.
Techcircle.in takes a look at the other 'Flikartians' who are running the firm (the winner of VCCircle Awards 2012 for Best Venture Capital-backed Consumer Internet Company). Interestingly, most of these key people have joined the company within the last one year, which certainly indicate how the company is aggressively scaling up its operations.
We missed out on one name in the original list Sujeet Kumar, who is president of operations and heads the in-house logistics business of Flipkart. In this updated copy we have included him.
Ravi Vora (joined in March 2011), VP (marketing), seems to be the right hand man of the Bansals. This IIM-Bangalore alumnus has been instrumental in setting up the marketing function and spearheading the positioning and branding strategy of the company. The 'Fairy tale' and 'No kidding, no worries' ad campaigns have given 'Brand Flipkart' a considerable push/facelift both in terms of revenues and customer base. Vora is a B.Pharm from Birla Institute of Technology and Science and previously worked with Eli Lilly, Vijay Traders, Hindustan Unilever, Olam International and Heinz India.
Mekin Maheshwari (since Sept 2009), president (engineering) at Flipkart.com, is responsible for leading the engineering team, scaling up Flipkart's business at a rapid speed. His LinkedIn profile says, "I help make e-commerce happen in India." A bachelor of engineering in Information Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Maheshwari had earlier worked with Yahoo!, Ugenie and Lulu (post its acquisition by Ugenie).
Ankit Nagori (in Flipkart since 2010), VP (categories), is an IIT-Guwahati alumnus who heads multiple categories and helps the e-tailer build its team across multiple offices. After acquiring Letsbuy.com a few months ago in a bid to boost its electronics product catalogue going forward and launching the digital music store Flyte, Flipkart has expanded into pens & stationery, home appliances, perfumes and most recently bags, belts & luggage. The company has recently told Techcircle how it is eyeing everything except groceries and automobiles. Nagori has previously worked with ESCP-EAP, Paris, Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions and USP Media Solutions.
Karandeep Singh (joined the company in January 2012), Flipkart CFO, is the one who handles all aspects of finance and corporate governance. Within weeks after he joined last December, Flipkart reportedly raised a mega round of funding from existing investors and also announced the acquisition of Letsbuy. The next big thing to watch out is how he can make the firm a profitable venture and prepare it for a possible public float in the future. A Delhi University alumnus, Singh had also worked with Yum Brands, Moser Baer, Dell and Sapient India.
Sameer Nigam (joined in October 2011), VP (digital business), was the founder of Mime360.com, a digital distribution platform solution which hosts music streaming for labels like Saregama, Universal Music and Inreco, which was acquired by Flipkart last October. This made public Flipkart's plans of entering the digital distribution domain and the company did launch Flyte, one of India's largest legal online music stores. The e-tailer says that it has the largest catalogue of online music available in the country â€“ more than a million tracks from 150,000 albums in 55 languages and across 700 genres and sub-genres. And there was no looking back for the company even in this space (read here for our sneak peek into how big a deal it is in terms of revenues. Nigam is an MBA (Entrepreneurship) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Arizona.
Maneesh Mittal (been with Flipkart since September 2009), VP (operations), is a B.Tech from IIT-Delhi. Although he joined the e-commerce company as a general manager, he went on to become AVP (warehousing) and was finally elevated to VP last year. This certainly shows that one is bound to get appreciation in this young company if he/she is performing well. Earlier, Mittal was an associate with Evangelists.
Sujeet Kumar (joined in December 2008), president (operations) at Flipkart, is a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi. He has been there for quite some time and has been responsible for building the company, along with the Bansals. Kumar oversees supply chain, warehousing and logistics, and is also in charge of business development for all categories. Plus, he is the one who ensures 'customers' delight' through smooth operations at every level.