Amazon ropes in former Cloudtail CEO Madhu M as category head
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Madhu M, former CEO of Cloudtail India Pvt. Ltd—the single-largest seller on Amazon India—has joined the e-commerce marketplace as director - category leadership, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to VCCircle.

Madhu M, Director - category leadership, Amazon
Madhu replaces former category head at Amazon Sumit Sahay, who has left the e-tailer.

“Sumit Sahay no longer works with Amazon and hence we cannot comment further,” the spokesperson added.

Sahay has worked in various capacities at Amazon—prior to category management, he was overseeing the e-tailer's home and kitchen business.

The Times of India earlier reported, citing regulatory filings and people aware of the development, that Cloudtail has appointed Sahay as its CEO. The report quoted a Cloudtail spokesperson confirming Sahay taking over as CEO and joining its board, although that couldn't be independently ascertained by VCCircle.

Cloudtail, which is part-controlled by Amazon, saw a four-fold jump in revenue to Rs 4,591.2 crore for 2015-16, up from Rs 1,145.4 crore the year before. Net loss shrank to Rs 30 crore from Rs 32 crore while total expenses jumped to Rs 4,621 crore from Rs 1,176 crore.

The seller, which started operations in the middle of 2014-15 (2015-16 is its first full financial year), is owned by a private firm, Prione Business Services Pvt. Ltd. Prione is a 51:49 joint venture between Infosys co-founder and former chief NR Narayana Murthy’s personal investment arm Catamaran and Amazon.

Amazon’s closest rival Flipkart also has a captive seller in WS Retail. The vendor, the only one on Flipkart before it turned into a marketplace, had registered a three-fold increase in revenue to Rs 10,163 crore in 2014-15.

Norms stipulate that any e-commerce marketplace cannot source more than 25% of the goods sold on its platform from a single vendor. Therefore, Flipkart and Amazon are working on reducing their dependence on in-house vendors Cloudtail and WS Retail, respectively, to comply with foreign direct investment guidelines.

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