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Exclusive: Majority investor Tarun Joshi takes control at gifting firm IGP

31 January, 2017

Close on the heels of investor-led management changes at e-commerce major Flipkart and lingerie e-tailer Zivame, India’s largest multi-category gifting company IGP (earlier called Indian Gifts Portal) has expanded its management team in a top-level revamping wherein its majority investor, Tarun Joshi, has taken over as executive chairman to spearhead its international growth aspirations.

Joshi is the India director of UK-based private equity firm 3i Group plc.

As part of the expansion, IGP has appointed Priyesh Neema as chief product offer and Kumar Tushar as chief design officer. Neema was one of the co-founders of online handicraft venture ArtisanGilt.com and Tushar has worked with edu-tech venture uFaber.com and realty portal Housing.com in the past.

“My effort is to accelerate growth. In many cases, when companies grow, they lose the balance between growth and discipline, which affects profitability and margins and results in high employee attrition. My role is to maintain that balance. I would also focus on building a culture worthy of a world-class organisation,” Joshi said.

The company has mandated a global investment bank to raise $10 million to power its expansion plans.

IGP was previously a unit of IndiaMART, an online B2B platform for small- and medium-sized businesses. In 2012, Joshi bought out the entity. He roped in Rahul Garg as chief executive in January 2015, when the company acqui-hired Garg’s online handicraft venture ArtisanGilt.com.

Joshi is the majority shareholder of the company, owning about 55% stake. He said $5 million has been infused into the company since the management buyout. IGP had raised $2-million funding in October last year, which saw participation from the family office of Naveen Arya, one of the three promoters of Karamchand Appliances.

“After the buyout, the focus was more on the India market. The focus now is on global expansion. Leading all strategic initiatives and driving the company from the board level would be my focus. Rahul would lead all execution,” Joshi added.

IGP is looking to crack the Middle East and Asian markets, and plans to launch in the US in near future. Joshi said the company is also in the final stages of discussion to bring one of the world’s largest flower delivery networks to India.

“We want to bring international brands in this segment to India as well as make IGP a global leader in this vertical by expanding overseas. This management expansion will also help us to adopt some best practices and explore new business strategies,” he said.

This is the latest instance of investors taking control of internet businesses in India. Early this month, Flipkart initiated a management restructuring that brought former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy at the helm of affairs. Lingerie retailer Zivame, too, underwent an investor-led restructuring when Richa Kar, founder and chief executive, relinquished control of the company’s business operations to make way for chief operating officer Shaleen Sinha.

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Exclusive: Majority investor Tarun Joshi takes control at gifting firm IGP

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