People walk past elevators and posters at the headquarters of Flipkart Ltd. in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg)

High-Profile Exits Continue At Flipkart As Sachin Bansal’s Chief Of Staff Quits 

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Markdowns, mounting competition and high profile exits, India’s largest e-tailer Flipkart has a lot to worry about. Chairman, Sachin Bansal’s chief of staff, Satyam Bansal became the latest to join the list of top executives quitting the company this year.

Satyam Bansal is now at video streaming firm, Hotstar, as senior vice president, after his three year stint at Flipkart. Bansal confirmed the development in an telephonic interview to BloombergQuint.

It is an exciting opportunity and space to be in and moving forward premium content will be driving the wave of data adoption in a massive way. I would be spearheading the growth of the company from distribution and adoption.”
Satyam Bansal, Senior Vice President, Hotstar  

The development was first reported by VCCircle on Wednesday.

High profile exits have become a common occurrence at Flipkart, with as many as eleven executives exiting the company over the last one year.

Last month, senior vice-president of engineering Peeyush Ranjan and private label head Mausam Bhatt quit Flipkart. Ranjan will be joining online rental platform Airbnb Inc. in the U.S., while Mausam Bhatt has joined as senior vice president of product at Texas based NASDAQ listed online coupon site, RetailMeNot Inc.

Others exits include commerce platform head, Mukesh Bansal, chief financial officer Sanjay Baweja, chief business officer,  Ankit Nagori, product chief, Punit Soni and legal head, Rajinder Sharma.

Indian unicorns or companies valued upwards of a billion dollars like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Ola have been witnessing top executives heading for the exit door in recent months. Two senior executives of Ola, Pradeep Dodle, head of cab category and Harsha Kumar, associate vice president, ended their ride with Ola in April this year.

However, for Flipkart it has been a key challenge as it saw the maximum number of exits this year. Industry observer point at increasing competition and slower growth which could be leading to these exits. Since December last year, Flipkart has been plagued by a series of valuation markdowns by foreign mutual funds that hold minority stake in the company. The latest came in November when a mutual fund managed by Morgan Stanley marked down the value of its shares by 38 percent to $52.13 a share from the June quarter, the fourth time it has done so over in nine months.

Slow growth coupled with add-on challenges is one of the key reasons for these top-level exits, Anuj Roy, senior partner at executive search firm Transearch told BloombergQuint in a telephonic interaction.

There was a period of hyper-paced growth last year and a lot of hiring took place in the anticipation of the growth that they would foresee over the period and now they are not able to reach those targets. This could be one of the main reasons of some of these exits that we have seen.” 
Anuj Roy, Senior partner, Transearch

He said most of the executives have moved to a more established setup or startup.

Angel investor, Ajeet Khurana, adds that the ‘extreme bull run’ has ebbed now, mellowing the aspirations of employees, but says it only goes to show how big Flipkart’s talent pool is.

“Flipkart has over the past couple of years has amassed a large quantity of good talent and the people with Flipkart pedigree are seen as extremely valuable by other companies,” he added.

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