Jabong to name ex-eBay In­dia head as COO

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

On­line fash­ion re­tailer Jabong has hired for­mer eBay In­dia coun­try head Mu­ra­likr­ish­nan B as its chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at a time when Jabong is look­ing to strengthen its mar­ket­place model and re­duce de­pen­dence on an in­ven­tory-led busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple aware of the de­vel­op­ment.

In Jan­uary, the Gur­gaon-based com­pany hired Ran­jan Kant as its chief mar­ket­place of­fi­cer amid grow­ing pres­sure from the com­pany's largest share­holder Global Fash­ion Group (GFG) to fo­cus on prof­itabil­ity. Mu­ra­likr­ish­nan will look af­ter the tech­nol­ogy, prod­uct and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing func­tions and will work closely with GFG, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sion said.

Mu­ra­likr­ish­nan, who is cur­rently work­ing as the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at on­line real es­tate por­tal In­di­aprop­erty. com, served eBay In­dia for over eight years. He served as a coun­try man­ager for eBay In­dia, Malaysia and the Phillip­pines in 2011, ac­cord­ing to his LinkedIn pro­file. Jabong did not re­spond to Mint's email queries. Mu­ra­likr­ish­nan de­clined to com­ment.

The com­pany has been strength­en­ing its lead­er­ship team in the last six months and has hired sev­eral se­nior ex­ec­u­tives. In Oc­to­ber, Jabong over­hauled its se­nior man­age­ment in a move to re­vive its busi­ness and re­gain ground lost to ri­vals such as Myn­tra and Ama­zon In­dia.

The com­pany hired San­jeev Mo­hanty from fash­ion ma­jor Benet­ton In­dia to head its busi­ness as the new chief ex­ec­u­tive and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. It also hired Sau­rabh Goel as chief prod­uct of­fi­cer, Su­mit Jain as the chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer, Sau­rabh Sri­vas­tava as chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, Deepa Chad­dha as its chief hu­man re­source of­fi­cer and Kalyan Ku­mar as chief mer­chan­dis­ing of­fi­cer.

Jabong, owned by GFG, largely runs on an in­ven­tory-led model where the com­pany buys the stock be­fore sell­ing. A mar­ket­place model is one where a firm sim­ply con­nects cus­tomers to third-party sellers on its plat­form and is thus less cap­i­tal­in­ten­sive.

In Fe­bru­ary, newly-ap­pointed Mo­hanty, who has been re­vis­it­ing com­pany's strat­egy and is putting in place mech­a­nisms to cut costs, said that the com­pany is aim­ing to break even in the next three years and is tar­get­ing to achieve gross mer­chan­dise value (GMV, or cost of goods sold) of over $800 mil­lion by De­cem­ber. The com­pany claims to have touched $66 mil­lion in GMV in Jan­uary, with a 56% growth in gross or­ders and 59% in gross items.

Apart from the in­creased fo­cus to­wards mar­ket­place, Jabong is also plan­ning to dis­con­tinue pri­vate la­bels and look at in­creas­ing as­sort­ment across ex­ist­ing brands. The com­pany cur­rently gets over 10% of its busi­ness from pri­vate la­bels such as San­gria, Lara Karen, Miss Ben­nett, In­cult and Phos­pho­rus brands. In Fe­bru­ary, Mint re­ported that GFG was look­ing to pump in fresh cap­i­tal into Jabong as it bets on the new team to turn­around the In­dia busi­ness.

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