Krish Iyer appointed CEO of Walmart India

The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc has named Krish Iyer as president and CEO of Walmart India, effective from January 20, 2014. Iyer will replace interim CEO Ramnik Narsey. In June, Raj Jain, president of Walmart India, quit the firm.

Scott Price, president and CEO of Walmart Asia, said: “Krish will be responsible for leading the growth and success of our India operations while also continuing to develop our future retail strategy there. His knowledge of our business, along with his understanding of the Indian market and culture, makes him a natural fit for this role. I would like to personally appreciate Ramnik and acknowledge his leadership of our India business as we worked to develop our current business plan.”  Iyer will be reporting to Price. 

Narsey is taking a new role as senior vice president, Walmart International and will report to David Cheesewright, who was recently promoted as president and CEO of Walmart International.

Iyer joined Walmart International as a senior vice president in 2012. Prior to joining Walmart, he worked with A.S. Watson Group for six years, where he also served as the managing director—Thailand and Phlippines. A.S. Watson Group is a leading international health & beauty retailer, with headquarters in Hong Kong and over 10,000 retail stores worldwide, running the gamut from health & beauty, luxury perfumeries and cosmetics, food, electronics and fine wine. It has a turnover of over $18 billion and operations in 33 countries with 200,000 employees.

Before that, Iyer, a chartered accountant, was managing director and CEO at Piramyd Retail Ltd for seven years. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Commerce and Economics from the University of Mumbai. 

Walmart’s India strategy has been less than spectacular, partly due to restrictive regulations which till recently banned foreign investment in multi-brand retail. 

In October this year, it said it is buying out Bharti Enterprises in their equal equity wholesale retail joint venture Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd. Upon receipt of required clearances, Wal-Mart would acquire Bharti’s stake in Bharti Walmart, assuming 100 per cent ownership of the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry business.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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