Swiggy hires former Reckitt Benckiser exec as CEO of New Supply biz
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Bengaluru-based Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates online food ordering platform Swiggy, has appointed former Reckitt Benckiser executive Vishal Bhatia as the chief executive of its new supply business vertical, a company statement said.

In his new role, Bhatia will focus on plugging the existing supply gaps in Swiggy's marketplace, besides enabling partner restaurants to expand their businesses, the statement added.

“As Swiggy prepares for the next phase in our growth, the new leaders will spearhead strategic initiatives that will create sustainable long-term value for our consumers and the marketplace,” Sriharsha Majety, chief executive of Swiggy, stated.

An MBA in marketing management, Bhatia had previously served a 10-year stint at consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, handling senior level functions in marketing and branding for the company’s Indonesian and UK operations. Prior to that, he was in the marketing division at Pepsico and Britannia.

Bhatia has been appointed a month after the food ordering firm launched the maiden initiative, Swiggy Access, which is part of the new supply business vertical. The initiative offers partner restaurants a delivery-only kitchen facility for faster delivery.

According to a spokesperson from Swiggy, the objective of the new supply business vertical is to address all supply gaps related to the availability of food options or restaurant choices for consumers based on demand.

“For example, through our first centralised kitchen at Marathahalli (in Bangalore), we brought the legacy Indian milkshake brand Keventers in the neighbourhood, as we realised there was a demand for its products, whose supply was inadequately met,” the spokesperson explained.

The 3,200 sq. ft. facility at Marathahalli (Bangalore) houses three restaurants, namely, Leon Grill, Keventers, and Punjabi Rasoi, besides Swiggy’s private brands The Bowl Company and House of Dabbas. The ready-to-occupy kitchens will offer the restaurants a basic setup with the required amenities. While Swiggy won’t charge them a rent or deposit, the commission fees would be higher than marketplace charges. The company plans to set up more such facilities to bring at least 40 partner restaurants under the Access programme in the next six months.

Other senior level appointments that Swiggy made was in September, when it appointed former Britannia executive Rahul Bothra as its first chief financial officer.

Swiggy is a significantly funded player in the online food delivery space, having raised $155 million so far from Naspers, Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel India, SAIF Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

In May this year, it secured $80 million (around Rs 517 crore) in its Series E round of funding led by South African technology group Naspers.

Thestartup was founded in August 2014 by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini. Majety and Reddy are BITS-Pilani alumni while Jaimini is an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus.

For the financial year 2016-17, Swiggy clocked a six-fold rise in revenues at Rs 133 crore up from Rs 20 crore in the previous financial year, the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies show.

Losses, however, widened to Rs 205 crore from Rs 137 crore in the previous year. Total expenditure, too, surged to Rs 345 crore from Rs 157 crore in the year prior.

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