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Tech and Product Design leads leave Flipkart as company chases better cashflows

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Flipkart’s senior management exodus, which started pretty much after change of guards between Sachin and Binny Bansal, continues. After a series of valuation markdowns, and resigning of ex-Googler Punit Soni, the company is now witnessing the departure of more of its top-level executives. Joining the list are Lalit Sarna and Sunil Gopinath.

At Flipkart, Lalit Sarna was heading the payments product design and had joined the company last year, after selling his luxury home decor company Style Ashram. Sunil, on the other hand, was the technology lead for the marketplace business. Thus, he was in charge of initiatives such as building products for the marketplace division, including helping merchants list on the platform and monitoring their performance.

One person aware of the matter told ET, that the reason behind these exits could be the company’s changed priorities. Flipkart has scrapped initiatives like image search and Ping and has made exchange days and advertisement its priority. Thus, the people who were hired for developing product-driven solutions, are deciding to leave the company.

Their exit comes after Punit Soni, who worked as chief operation officer at Flipkart, announced his departure from the company in April. He decided to leave after restructuring at Flipkart where Binny Bansal was named the chief executive officer and Sachin Bansal was elevated to Chairman.

While Flipkart has been successful in attracting senior executive level people to join the company, it has failed to retain them. Since the company’s restructuring, more than half a dozen senior executives have left Flipkart, including Mukesh Bansal, Ankit Nagori, Manish Maheshwari, Samir Nigam and Punit Soni.

The company is facing more pressure with each executive leaving the company. While Flipkart is struggling to raise new funding at its desired valuation, Amazon has received commitment of another $3 billion in India, bringing total to $5 billion.

Also, Flipkart is loosing its market grip to Amazon. The Indian e-commerce portal recently increased seller commission on its portal, resulting in a revolt from few of its sellers. On the other hand, Amazon reduced seller commission in order to attract sellers who are not happy with Flipkart’s commission structure. Amazon is financing all of this, with a massive $5 Billion combined warchest which the company has.

This move from Amazon proves that it is ready to do whatever it has to do in order to win the e-commerce battle in India for the largest market share. After loosing war to Alibaba in China, India is the only country in Asia where Amazon has a strong grip. And even though India’s ecommerce market size is minuscule when compared to China, the growth prospects here are massive, and Amazon wants to make sure it takes an early lead.

We’ve mailed Flipkart for comments and confirmation. The company has however confirmed the two departures to Economic Times.

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