Jabong to name ex-eBay India head as COO
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.