Two more Top Execs Snap Ties with Snapdeal
Bengaluru: Snapdeal’s head of corporate development Abhishek Kumar has resigned, becoming the second senior executive to leave the online marketplace recently as it struggles to raise more money and reduce spending the cash it has in hand. Abhishek Kumar, employed with Snapdeal for close to three years and who oversaw its $400-million acquisition of mobile wallet company FreeCharge in 2015, is serving his notice period, a company spokeswoman said. Kumar, along with founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, was responsible for raising fresh funds for Snapdeal, according to company executives aware of the developments. The money hasn’t come through yet. Former Housing.com CEO Jason Kothari, whom Snapdeal hired as chief strategy and investment officer last month, will take on Kumar’s responsibilities.
The other management-level exit was of Sandeep Komaravelly in January. He was senior vice-president in charge of Snapdeal’s mobile customer-to-customer marketplace Shopo and left to join a new venture after the unit was merged with FreeCharge at the end of last year.
Komaravelly had joined Snapdeal when it acquired his group-buying website Grabbon in 2010. As head of marketing from 2010 to 2015, he was responsible for bringing onboard actor Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador for company’s Unbox Zindagi promotional campaign. “Abhishek Kumar has decided to take forward his entrepreneurial interest, which takes him outside Snapdeal,” said a company spokeswoman. On Komaravelly, she said he had “moved on to pursue other opportunities in the entrepreneurial space”. Kumar and Komaravelly could not be reached for a comment.
Snapdeal has been in talks recently with existing investor SoftBank to raise money at a valuation of $3-4 billion, according to people aware of the negotiations. That’s down from the $6.5 billion that Snapdeal was valued at when it secured $200 million from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and others in February last year. Also, similar to Flipkart, with fresh investments not coming by, Snapdeal has been striving to reduce its cash burn. Even so, on Monday, the company said it was on path to achieving profitability over the next two years. Snapdeal had in 2015 indicated a three-year runway to profitability. In 2015-16, Snapdeal.com’s loss increased to ₹ 3,316 crore from a loss of ₹ 1,328 crore in the year prior, while revenue grew to ₹ 1,457 crore from ₹ 933 crore. The online marketplace’s management has been at the centre of a churn with senior executives being moved across Snapdeal, FreeCharge and the company’s logistics arm Vulcan. In November, Vishal Chadha, who was overseeing Snapdeal’s seller network, was re-designated as the head of business, categories, brand alliance and services. Company veteran and Grabbon cofounder Tony Navin was made senior vice president of partnerships and strategic initiatives, and vice president Anubhav Goyal was given charge of the price analytics team. Snapdeal’s vice president of design Harish Sivaramakrishnan quit the same month to join Google India. Around that time, Shopo was merged with Snapdeal’s payments business FreeCharge, a transition that Komaravelly helmed, according to the company. Snapdeal acquired Shopo, a platform for small sellers, in 2013 and had planned to invest ₹ 665 crore in it by 2017. Instead, it chose the merger. “The entire team of Shopo was merged with FreeCharge as they work with small merchants,” said a company spokesman.