Who is Kalyan Krishnamurthy? Flipkart to appoint new group CEO replacing Binny Bansal

Madhuri Adnal

Bengaluru, Sep 24: Flipkart Pvt. Ltd, now controlled by Walmart Inc is considering naming a new chief executive officer (CEO) at the group level in place of Binny Bansal. Flipkart co-founder and group chief executive officer (CEO) Binny Bansal took over the chairman's role in May after former chairman Sachin Bansal left Flipkart over differences with the company's board.

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy is one of the candidates likely to become group CEO, according to the reports.

Flipkart may name a new group CEO, partly because co-founder and current group CEO Binny Bansal is not actively involved in daily operations, adding that Binny Bansal will, however, remain the chairman of the company.

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Why Kalyan Krishnamurthy may be the best person?

Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been the Chief Executive Officer of Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. since January 2017 and previously served as its Head of Category Management. He served as the Managing Director and Director of Finance & Portfolio Companies at Tiger Global Management LLC. He served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer at Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. from May 2013 to November 5, 2014.

Prior to Tiger Global, Krishnamurthy held various senior positions such as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at eBay Asia-Pacific and Country Finance Director (South-east Asia, Hong Kong) at eBay. He also worked at Procter & Gamble. He served as a Director of Sunshine Teahouse Pvt. Ltd.

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He has done MBAs from University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and Asian Institute of Management. The CEO is an ardent yoga practitioner, constantly sips water and bounds up and down the stairs at work. He is the father of two young daughters.

In 2015, Flipkart had undertaken a massive reshuffle that saw the company being split into three separate parts, which were run by Flipkart co-founder and then CEO Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal and Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal (none of them are related to each other).

In 2016, Flipkart elevated Binny Bansal to the role of the CEO, after all of Sachin Bansal's major strategic bets had failed and Flipkart conceded market share to Amazon India. In 2017, Krishnamurthy, a former executive of Tiger Global Management, took over the role from Binny Bansal, who was named group CEO.

How did Kalyan Krishnamurthy change the Flipkart's Game in 2017?

In January 2017, when Krishnamurthy took on new responsibilities as the CEO, the startup's valuation was already dropping, fundraising was more difficult and Amazon.com Inc. was pledging $5 billion-plus to siphon away customers. So the 46-year-old former hedge-fund manager took matters into his hands. He fired senior managers, set more-aggressive sales targets, boosted spending on promotions and promised to dominate India's festival-season shopping.

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The man is credited with what is called the "80-20 rule" - he streamlined digital traffic, and focused on the 20 percent of categories that raked in 80 percent of Flipkart's revenue.

His strategy worked, and the man was credited with what is called the "80-20 rule" - he streamlined digital traffic, and focused on the 20 percent of categories that raked in 80 per cent of Flipkart's revenue.

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