Thursday 25 July 2019

Snapdeal ramps up its legal department: Poaches from Johnson & Johnson and Flipkart

Snapdeal ramps up its legal department: Poaches from Johnson & Johnson and FlipkartMUMBAI: Online marketplace Snapdeal has roped in three senior legal executives in an effort to strengthen its in house legal team. 

The SoftBank backed Snapdeal has hired Prankur Chaturvedi, legal counsel at Johnson & Johnson to head its contract and compliance department while Mansi Airi, a former senior associate of law firm PSA Legal Counsellors to build in-house expertise in cross border and domestic M&As and technology transfers.

The SoftBank and Nexus Venture Partners-backed Snapdeal has also recently hired Vijay Srivastava, to head litigations and disputes. Before joining Snapdeal, Srivastava was heading International and domestic disputes at the Flipkart.

“In the face of evolving regulatory and legal environment and expanse of the e-commerce sector, we are focused on building an in-house lean team of experts powered by technology to help stay agile,” said Smriti Subramanian, general counsel of Snapdeal.

Including fresh hires, the firm’s total bench strength has increased to 10.

Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Chaturvedi had worked at another SoftBank-backed startup Oravel Stays, that owns Oyo Hotels as senior legal counsel and group company secretary.

The development comes at the time when the New Delhi-headquartered startup has managed to reinvent itself and bringing more efficiencies in all aspects of its operations. 

The Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal promoted Snapdeal has sharpened its focus on the needs of the value-conscious buyers in India. More than 80% of its users come from the small towns and cities of India. 

According to Vani Jain, managing consultant at legal and governance executive search firm Vahura, E-commerce players are scouting for legal talent aggressively. 

"With Legal departments now playing the role of business - enablers, legal hiring has become matured and strategic. Companies like Snapdeal, Zomato, Swiggy, Flipkart etc have been making niche hires to suit their business plans," added Jain.

Recently, Anand Piramal, Executive Director of the Piramal Group has invested an undisclosed amount in Snapdeal. The investment has been made by Piramal in his personal capacity. 

As per regulatory documents filed by Snapdeal, its consolidated revenues grew to Rs 925.3 crore in 2018-19 as compared to Rs 535.9 crore in 2017-18, marking a sharp increase of nearly 73% in a 12-month period. At the same time, Snapdeal also managed to significantly reduce its loss to Rs 186 crore in FY19 from Rs 611 crore reported in FY18 - a drop of nearly 71%. In the same period, Snapdeal’s revenue from operations grew annually 87%.

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