With India emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets, it is not surprising that this sector is betting big on talent acquisition strategy to steer growth. The demand for experienced industry professionals continues to soar in this sunrise industry. Dealstreetasia captures some recent movements and new appointments in few venture and private equity-backed e-commerce companies.
Yatra appoints Chakrapani Gollapali as chief business officer
Online travel portal Yatra.com has appointed Chakrapani Gollapali, a former Microsoft India executive, as chief business officer of its holidays division. In his new role, Chakrapani will be largely responsible for the strategic direction, operational execution, and the overall business results for the holidays division of Yatra.
The new appointment will enable Yatra to deliver an integrated organizational approach for product innovation and customer delight across the domestic, international and exotic destinations spanning across all its channels including online, contact centers, retail and direct sales, the company said in a press statement.
With a view to expand its reach in the market and enhance the holiday packages business, Yatra.com had raised Rs 140 crore ($ 21 million) in a funding round last year led by new investors including technology venture capital fund IDG Ventures India, and Vertex Venture Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd. The portal’s existing investors, including seed investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), had also participated in the funding.
Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra said, “Chakrapani brings with him a legacy of outstanding experience in the technology and consumer businesses that will be key in formulating and driving our holiday business, which is a vital area for the company.”
With over two decades of experience in technology, mobile, and consumer businesses, Chakrapani has had led several established and also incubating businesses. In his last role, he served as the country general manager for Microsoft India, leading all of Microsoft’s core consumer categories. He also spent six years with Nokia as the general manager of the Eseries Smartphones business in India and also in the global organization that created the mobile payments business for Nokia.
“I hope to inject a fresh perspective to the business and help dramatically build scale while making Yatra the most preferred brand choice for holiday travellers in India,” Chakrapani said.
FreeCharge appoints Sudeep Tandon as chief business officer
In a big to strengthen its senior leadership team, online recharge and couponing service Freecharge has appointed Sudeep Tandon as chief business officer of the company. Tandon was key advisor during early days of Freecharge and has deep understanding about the brand’s vision. In his capacity as a chief business officer, Tandon will be responsible for corporate strategy and strategic tie-ups of the company, and will report to Kunal Shah, CEO and co-founder of Freecharge.
The firm’s move to revamp its senior management team comes after it was acquired by e-retailer Snapdeal for an undisclosed amount in April this year. With the acquisition, Snapdeal intends to boost its reach in the country’s fast-growing mobile transactions business.
Tandon carries an experience of over eight years in telecom and technology strategy, as well as product and business development areas. Prior to joining Freecharge, Tandon was an engagement manager at Cartesian, a telecom, media and technology (TMT) focused consulting firm. He also worked at Samsung’s global strategy group in South Korea as an associate global strategist.
Early this year, Freecharge had raised Rs 520 crore ($80 million) in funding from a host of investors including San Francisco-based head fund Valiant Capital Management and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital Management, to execute product innovations in mobile space, expand team, and boost marketing initiatives.
Freecharge allows users to top up amounts on their mobile phone or internet connections and get coupons as a reward for using its service.
Mobikwik appoints Manish Chaturvedi as strategy chief
Mobile payments platform MobiKwik has elevated head of strategy Mrinal Sinha to the position of Chief Operating Officer, as per a report of PTI. The Sequoia Capital funded company has also appointed former American Express executive Manish Chaturvedi as its chief sales officer.
Sinha, who joined MobiKwik last year, will now be involved in directing, administering, and coordinating the operational activities, MobiKwik said in a statement. He will also have the mandate to drive multiple CXO-level functions at MobiKwik, as per the statement.
Besides, Chaturvedi will lead partnerships with retailers at MobiKwik and will be responsible for driving acceptance of MobiKwik wallet across formats and industries. He will also manage key initiatives of the firm with banks and government entities.
MobiKwik had raised Rs 165 crore ($25 million) from a clutch of investors, including Tree Line Asia, Cisco Investments, American Express and Sequoia Capital to expand its offline presence by increasing physical point of sale (PoS) locations across the country. The start-up claims to have 25 million users and 50,000 retailers on board. Its merchant partners include Uber, Meru Cabs, Big Bazaar, WHSmith India, Cafe Coffee Day, PVR and BookMyShow, among others.