Flipkart ropes in Google and Motorola hotshot Punit Soni as chief product officer
Flipkart, India's top consumer e-commerce marketplace, has named Punit Soni, a Google product management executive and former vice president of product management at Motorola, as its new chief product officer.
Soni will lead the product definition and innovation charter for Flipkart consumer products, marketplace and transaction platform. In this role, he will be driving product strategy, design and product marketing functions.
Mukesh Bansal, head of Flipkart Commerce Platform, said, "The next stage of Flipkart is here. As we build a leading-edge technology company, we are pleased to welcome Punit to Bangalore to lead our product-related initiatives. His deep experience in launching successful tech-related products and extensive relationships in the US and abroad will help Flipkart stay on the cutting edge."
Sachin Bansal, co-founder and Flipkart Group CEO, added, "Punit will help accelerate our innovation agenda in building products that consumers love."
Soni said, "India is the next centre of tech innovation and growth globally, and I am excited to participate by moving to Bangalore for Flipkart. The next world-class technology company will come out of India, and it will be Flipkart."
As a senior product leader at Google and Motorola in Mountain View, California, Soni was involved in the development of some of the world's most revolutionary products including Google News, Google Books, Google Plus, Google Mobile and a suite of Motorola devices including Moto X, Moto G and Moto E.
Notably, Flipkart's exclusive tie up with Motorola to sell its new Moto range of handsets in India has been one of the key success mantras of the e-com player over the last one year.
Soni holds an undergraduate degree (B.Tech) in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
His appointment comes close on the heels of the firm naming Saikiran Krishnamurthy as chief operating officer (COO) of its commerce division, which in effect, makes him the number two man looking after day to day activities of the e-com firm, barring logistics.
Krishnamurthy will report to Mukesh Bansal, who is now heading the day-to-day operations of the firm after a three-way organisation shuffle where the Flipkart co-founders are now involved with strategy and logistics businesses. While Sachin Bansal is looking after new initiatives and strategy, Binny Bansal is heading supply chain and logistics.
Mukesh Bansal, who got into the firm after Flipkart acquired Myntra, a venture co-founded by him, last year, was made head of marketing and with the last change at the top deck, is reportedly CEO of the day-to-day operations.
Soni becomes the third top lateral recruitment by the firm after Krishnamurthy and Sanjay Baweja, who joined as CFO from Tata Communications three months ago.
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 among other local competitors such as Snapdeal.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)