Unilever’s top executive Sudhir Sitapati joins Flipkart’s new advisory board

India’s largest e-commerce venture Flipkart has roped in Sudhir Sitapati, a vice president with consumer goods giant Unilever, as an advisory board member  for its commerce platform, a company spokesperson said.

Sitapati is the first appointee to a four-member advisory board that is being constituted to accelerate growth at Flipkart's commerce platform.

The other three members of the advisory board will be identified in the next few months.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

Flipkart’s vision for the advisory board is a rather flexible one that allows Sitapati to continue with Unilever even as he serves as its advisor. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Sitapati oversees the tea, coffee and ice-cream categories for Unilever across South Asia and Africa in his capacity as a vice-president at the global FMCG giant.

Flipkart and its closest rival Snapdeal have been strengthening their senior management teams over the last few months. Recently, Flipkart appointed IT industry veteran Ravi Garikipati in a newly created position – entrepreneur in residence. In March, it hired Punit Soni, a Google product management executive and former vice president of product management at Motorola, as chief product officer. In April, it roped in Hari Vasudev (Yahoo), Anand KV (Hathway) and Manish Maheshwari (txtWeb), to spearhead supply chain, customer experience and seller ecosystem verticals, respectively. Earlier, the firm had named Saikiran Krishnamurthy from McKinsey as the chief operating officer (COO) of its commerce division.

The organisation also re-jigged its top team with Sachin Bansal now looking after new initiatives and strategy. Binny Bansal is heading supply chain and logistics while Mukesh Bansal has been heading the day-to-day operations. Mukesh Bansal was inducted after Flipkart acquired Myntra, a venture co-founded by him, last year.

Snapdeal, run by Delhi-based Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, recently roped in former Bharti Airtel senior executive Anand Chandrasekaran as chief product officer. This is the latest in a series of top level appointments by Snapdeal in the past 12 months and the second from Bharti Airtel. Snapdeal had recently brought in Jayant Sood as chief customer experience officer from the telco. Sood was last working as head-contact experience at Bharti Airtel.

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