Flipkart ropes in Sanjay Baweja from Tata Communications as CFO

Home grown e-commerce giant Flipkart has appointed Sanjay Baweja as its chief financial officer (CFO). Baweja will take over the position which has been lying vacant since early 2013. The company's finance team has been led by an interim head on deputation from its key investor Tiger Global.

Baweja was till recently CFO at Tata Communications and had quit the firm a few weeks ago and was serving the notice period. Although it was widely reported that Baweja is joining Flipkart, the firm has formally announced it now.

Sachin Bansal, co-founder and CEO, Flipkart, said, “Baweja brings with him a rich experience of running financial set-ups across large and diverse organisations. His background of successfully structuring the financial strategy of market leaders is going to be invaluable as we enter a pivotal point in our growth story.”

The announcement comes in the wake of an internal company email sent by Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related), which announced that Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who had been appointed as the interim CFO of Flipkart, is returning to Tiger Global Management, one of the largest investors in Flipkart.

Krishnamurthy, director (finance – portfolio companies) at Tiger Global Management, had joined the company as interim CFO in May 2013. His appointment had come in the wake of Karandeep Singh, former CFO of Flipkart, leaving the company in February last year.

Baweja has over three decades of work experience in areas of corporate finance and budget control, controllership, acquisitions, financial analysis, strategic business planning, tax planning and risk management. Prior to joining Tata Communications, he was CFO of real estate firm Emaar MGF Land Pvt Ltd.

Before that, he was the CFO (North) at Bharti Airtel Ltd. He had earlier also worked at companies like Xerox Modicorp, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Walker Chandiok & Associates. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and is a Chartered Accountant.

"I am impressed by Flipkart’s continuous commitment to growth without losing sight of operational excellence. I look forward to contributing to Flipkart’s vision and business strategy in my role as CFO,” said Baweja.

Flipkart had just shuffled its top management, as part of which Myntra’s co-founder and CEO Mukesh Bansal, who had joined Flipkart’s board and is also head of its fashion vertical, will now also lead marketing. Bansal (not related to Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal) will also be responsible for categories like computers and consumer electronics, and will market the company’s private label brands (like in-house tablet brand DigiFlip).

Ravi Vora, who was earlier handling marketing for Flipkart, will now be responsible for building new in-house brands for the company. As part of the reshuffle, Ankit Nagori, Flipkart’s marketplace head, will also oversee general merchandise and book-retailing. The moves are part of a larger organisational overhaul.

Flipkart had raised $1 billion (around Rs 6,000 crore) in a fresh funding round of funding co-led by two of its existing investors Tiger Global and Naspers in July this year. One of the two sovereign wealth funds of Singapore, GIC, along with other existing investors Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina, also participated in the financing round.

The development took the total fundraise by Flipkart to date to around $1.75 billion, making it not just India’s but one of the single-biggest private funding rounds for a tech venture globally. The site claims to have 26 million registered users and is getting 180 million visits on a monthly basis. The current team size is 14,000 employees.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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