Leaving Flipkart in a strong position, says Mukesh Bansal
11 February 2016
India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart Ltd announced on Wednesday that Mukesh Bansal, head of the company's commerce platform and its third most powerful executive, as well as chief business officer Ankit Nagori, would leave by May.
These departures follow a massive organisational restructuring by Flipkart last month. On 11 January, Flipkart named co-founder Binny Bansal (who until then had been looking after the company's supply chain) as its new chief executive officer, replacing Sachin Bansal, in a move that it claimed would strengthen its management bandwidth as it seeks to combat arch rival Amazon India and kick off preparations for an expected initial public offering (IPO) over the next few years.
Two days later, Flipkart restructured the company's core retail and marketplace business, called the commerce platform, into three large product-oriented groups and an engineering division. (See: Binny Bansal is Flipkart's new CEO, Sachin chairman).
The three Bansals are not related.
Mukesh Bansal, who joined Flipkart when it bought his fashion retail business Myntra for more than $330 million in May 2014, took over leadership of the company's fledgling advertising business along with his role of commerce platform head.
''As Flipkart is doing really well with a great management team, I felt this was the right opportunity for me to step back," he said in an interview to the Mint newspaper today.
"My incredible journey with Myntra and Flipkart comes to an end. It has been amazing nine years filled with lot of learning, privilege to work with outstanding people and chance to participate in building future industry of India that will impact hundred of millions of people," Mukesh said in a letter to employees.
"I have enjoyed every minute of my time with Flipkart and felt inspired every moment," he further said.
He also listed the achievements at the Flipkart during the last two years. "In last two years, we have established very strong leadership in Fashion, transformed the business into Marketplace model, increased our Smartphone market share to 60 per cent and built differentiators in Large. We have pivoted to completely mobile first company with 60 per cent mCommerce market-share for the group," he has said.
Stating that he never dreamt in "wildest imagination" that will come this far, when he and Ashutosh Lawania started Myntra in 2007, he said, "What's even more amazing is that it seems we are just getting started and the journey ahead for Flipkart/Myntra is going to be even more fascinating and at the scale that India has never seen before."
Mukesh also expressed confidence that the leadership team at Myntra, led by CEO Ananth Narayanan, will make it an "iconic company" which will change the face of fashion industry in India.
Calling his two years with Flipkart "nothing short of fairy tale", he said Sachin and Binny have built a very unique company that has practically created the e-commerce industry in India and consistently led in innovation like COD,eKart, 30 Day Returns and m-commerce.
Talking about leadership team at Flipkart, Mukesh said, "With the calibre of this team, I am very confident that Flipkart is in safe hands and this team is eminently capable of charting the course for next phase of Flipkart journey."
He added, "I am very excited with Binny coming in as CEO and my transition will enable him to work directly with CP leadership ... Binny, along with the leadership and the amazing talent pool at Flipkart, will do justice to any mandate and continue to push the boundaries for e-commerce / Internet businesses in India and beyond."
Mukesh said though his journey comes to an end, he will always be "deeply emotionally" connected to Flipkart and Myntra, and will continue to be available from outside as sounding board and mentor to the team.
"I am looking forward to a long break after my transition and catching up on my reading, travel and fitness. I will be spending bunch of time with my kids and catch up on all the fun I have missed with them all these years," he added.