Monday 18 May 2015

Sujeet Kumar, head of Flipkart’s largest seller WS Retail, quits

Sujeet Kumar, head of Flipkart’s largest seller and its captive logistics business WS Retail Pvt. Ltd, has quit the organization, according to three people close to the development.
Kumar along with another former Flipkart executive, Tapas Rudrapatna, controls 46% of WS Retail. Until 2013, WS Retail accounted for nearly all of Flipkart’s sales. Flipkart moved to a part-marketplace model in that year and is now accelerating the shift by adding tens of thousands of sellers this year.
Still, WS Retail accounts for more than half of Flipkart’s sales and will continue to play a key role as the online retailer tries to make the transition to a pure marketplace. WS Retail also runs Flipkart’s logistics arm, which employs more than 20,000 people and helps differentiate Flipkart from rivals by delivering products faster than external logistics companies.
Kumar has been running the organization since 2012. Kumar and Rudrapatna are said to be close to the Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansaland Binny Bansal. He is also a college senior of the Bansals and was president of operations at Flipkart until 2012.
Kumar’s influence and importance was evident in his compensation package. Apart from his pay, he was eligible to earn a bonus of Rs.15 crore for the year ended March if WS Retail’s sales exceeded Rs.2,500 crore, according to documents with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
WS Retail posted revenue of Rs.3,135 crore on a profit of Rs.67 lakh for the past financial year, documents show.
Kumar, who is also a director on WS Retail’s board, did not respond toMint’s email query.
Mint could not independently verify if he will continue to hold the board position or not.
Apart from providing business benefits for Flipkart, WS Retail helps Flipkart show it’s a marketplace, at least on paper. India bans foreign direct investment (FDI) in direct online retail but allows it in the marketplace business.
WS Retail was owned by Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal until September 2012. The Bansals and two of their relatives were also board members at WS Retail.
In September 2012, Flipkart was forced to sell a large stake in WS Retail to former OnMobile Global Ltd chief operating officer Rajeev Kuchhal, just weeks before Indian regulatory agencies launched an investigation into the company’s business relationship with WS Retail. Both the Bansals and their relatives gave up their board seats, too.

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