Mukesh Bansal, who was heading the commerce and advertising business of Flipkart, quit on Wednesday, weeks after the co-founder of the country’s largest e-commerce company, Binny Bansal, became the chief executive officer.
Flipkart also lost another senior executive, Ankit Nagori, its chief business officer.
Mukesh Bansal, who founded Myntra, was leading the online fashion retailer as chairman, after selling it to Flipkart two years ago. He ceded its control to Binny Bansal in January.
Now, Binny Bansal, who has built Flipkart’s operations since inception, will consolidate the organisation, as competition increases from rivals such as Snapdeal and Amazon. According to a Kotak Institutional Equities report, Flipkart has lost market share to Amazon and Snapdeal and grown slower than both in FY15.
“I will help in the transition, and then, will take a break,” said Mukesh Bansal. “After that, I will look at starting out in the tech space.”
Analysts claimed Myntra’s merger with Flipkart in 2014 was engineered by common investors on boards of both the companies
. Mukesh Bansal’s exit was imminent after an obligatory stay at the online marketplace.
“No founder wants to lose their company to a competitor. This was predicted right from the moment that acquisition happened,” said Debabrat Mishra, a director at the consultancy Hay Group, where he works with start-ups. “I think the obligatory period is over (for Mukesh) and he’s doing what he always wanted to do, be in charge of his own destiny.”
Nagori, who joined the company in 2010 as an engineer, will get the backing of Sachin and Binny Bansal for a sports platform he is starting up. “Developing sports in India is definitely a noble cause, and certainly one in which I am personally vested. We are there to support him fully,” Flipkart quoted Binny Bansal on its blog.
In the January rejig, co-founder Sachin Bansal became chairman, a role in which he will look at raising funds, hiring top talent and mentoring the leadership team, and not involve himself in day-to-day operations.
Binny Bansal’s elevation was christened as the “next phase of the journey” to build a great internet company out of India, ahead of a public listing in the US bourses in the next few years.
Mukesh Bansal would continue to advise founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, but would give up his active role in the company. “Mukesh has played a huge role in making Myntra the number one fashion destination and built a strong platform at Flipkart, including India’s strongest leadership team,” said the company in a statement.