Homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart has appointed former business development head Abhijit Upadhye as CEO of Jeeves Consumer Services Pvt. Ltd, its subsidiary that provides after-sales service for home appliances and electronics.
Upadhye, who had joined Flipkart in April 2016 as vice president – business development, was earlier driving growth at its logistics arm eKart, his LinkedIn profile shows. He was appointed as Jeeves’ chief executive in January. It is not clear who has taken over Upadhye’s earlier responsibility.
VCCircle has sent a detailed e-mail questionnaire to Flipkart in this regard. We will update the copy as and when we get the responses.
In March, Flipkart had elevated Sriram Venkataraman, the chief financial officer of its commerce platform, as the company’s finance chief. However, the hunt for a group CFO was on, a company spokesperson had told VCCircle.
Flipkart has made its intentions clear about grabbing sizeable market share in the large home appliances and white goods segment. A strong after-sales service will be essential if the e-commerce major wants to establish a robust business in the category and keep competition at bay.
Flipkart had acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Jeeves in 2014. The after-sales service company had raised an undisclosed round of funding in 2012 from early-stage venture capital fund Seedfund.
Jeeves was founded by RN Balasubramanya, Alok Sen and SL Padmanabhan in 2007. The company offers end-to-end after-sales service for over 80 product categories, including home appliances, electronics, mobile and furniture. Besides, it also offers extended warranties and protection plans on the products.
The company, which claims to be present in more than 300 cities, has partnered over 60 brands including those from the Tata group, Future Group, and Aditya Birla Group, says its website.
Flipkart re-entered the large appliances category in 2014 with the launch of televisions and currently offers washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioners, among other appliances. Its focus on the category can be gauged from the fact that 10 of its warehouses (among a total of 73) are dedicated solely to large appliances, according to an earlier company statement.
During its annual sale event earlier this month (May 14-18), Flipkart claimed to have posted a nine times increase in sales of TVs and appliances compared to a normal day.