Indonesia’s e-commerce major Tokopedia is set to lose its Vice President of Business, Amit Lakhotia, who has resigned from the company, according to a source familiar with the development.
Lakhotia, the source said, has left Alibaba-backed Tokopedia to establish his own startup.
Tokopedia did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation from this portal, while Lakhotia refused to comment.
A former VP of Payments at Indian unicorn Paytm, Lakhotia joined Tokopedia in 2016. He has since played a key role in the growth of the startup in the last two years, leading all of its non-marketplace business activities.
He was understood to be the brains behind Tokopedia’s consumer billing product as well as the launch of its fintech-related businesses such as merchant and consumer lending, mutual fund buying and the startup’s own e-wallet, Tokocash.
Before his three-year stint at Paytm, Lakhotia spent four years as the Product Manager and Business Head at India’s NASDAQ-listed travel aggregator MakeMyTrip, now a multi-billion dollar company.
Lakhotia leaves Tokopedia at a time when the company is starting to see the fruits of its $1.1 billion funding led by Alibaba in 2017. The company now claims to host three million merchants on its platform, which boasts 40 million users.
The startup revealed earlier this year that it plans to build its very own innovation centre, replicating a strategy adopted by regional giants including Alibaba, JD.com and Lazada.
Tokopedia recently created a buzz with its Ramadan flash sale, which offered a range of select items, including cell phones, at a discounted price of Rp 25,000 ($1.8) each. According to CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya, the flash sale attracted as many as 300 million users to Tokopedia, beating the traffic recorded by Whatsapp and Instagram in the same month.
Tokopedia was founded by Tanuwijaya, the son of a factory worker, during an internet boom in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2009. The startup first announced an investment round in 2014, where it received $100 million from SoftBank and Sequoia.
Alibaba is a minority shareholder in the Tokopedia after the Chinese giant led a $1.1-billion (Rp 14 trillion) investment round into the startup last year.