Bharti Retail appoints former head of Walmart India Raj Jain as CEO

Bharti Retail, the retailing arm of Bharti Enterprises Ltd, has appointed former Walmart India head Raj Jain as CEO and Pankaj Madan, a former executive with Bharti Walmart, as the chief financial officer.

Bharti Walmart was a joint venture between Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Bharti Retail which split last October.

“Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and we are delighted to have Raj and Pankaj on board. I am confident that their rich experience and insights into the retail business will add immense value to company’s growth plans,” said Rajan Bharti Mittal, vice chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprises. 

Jain will report directly to Rajan Bharti Mittal—the youngest of three Mittal brothers—who has been in charge of the privately held retail business of the group.  

Jain had quit Walmart India in June last year where he was president of Walmart India and also played the role of a managing director and chief executive officer of Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd.

Prior to Walmart, Jain was the Asia Pacific Region head, marketing and supply chain at Whirlpool Corporation in Shanghai and had also served as managing director & CEO of Whirlpool of India Ltd. 

Madan worked with Bharti Walmart as CFO for more than five years. Prior to that he was CFO with Grampian Country Food Group (Thailand). 

In October last year, Wal-Mart Stores announced that it is buying out Bharti Enterprises in their equal equity wholesale retail joint venture Bharti Walmart, marking a split in their retail venture. The employees of the JV firm were given the option of either working with Walmart India for its existing wholesale cash & carry retail chain or for Bharti Retail. 

Bharti Retail independently operates neighbourhood retail chains under the Easyday brand spread across the north India region besides states like Maharashtra in the west and Karnataka in the south. 

Last month, the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores  named Krish Iyer as president and CEO of Walmart India, effective from January 20, 2014. Iyer will replace interim CEO Ramnik Narsey. 

Iyer joined Walmart International as a senior vice president in 2012. Prior to joining Walmart, he worked with health and beauty products retailer A.S. Watson Group for six years, where he also served as the managing director—Thailand and Philippines. Before that, Iyer, a chartered accountant, was managing director and CEO at Piramyd Retail Ltd for seven years.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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