It is an open secret that e-commerce companies in India are going through their worst time in history. They are not only struggling to raise funds, but also facing huge competition from domestic as well as foreign players. As a result, companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal lost significant marketshare to Amazon, and have been floundering for the past two years.
To save the company from further damages, Flipkart on Monday appointed Tiger Global Managing Director Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new CEO. Previously, in November last year, Housing, another consumer Internet company, roped in Jason Kothari as its CEO and he successfully scripted a turn-around, before it merging it with News Corp-backed PropTiger recently.
Now it is Snapdeal‘s turn to get a C-level executive to turn its fortunes around. Snapdeal, Flipkart’s rival and India’s third largest e-commerce company, has just roped in Housing CEO Jason Kothari as its Chief Strategy and Investment Officer. Kothari will be joining Snapdeal on January 16, 2017 and will work alongside co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
At Snapdeal, Kothari’s responsibilities will include leading strategy, corporate development including all investments and strategic partnerships, and raising new capital, besides portfolio management. He will also oversee companies that Snapdeal owns or has invested in.
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Both Snapdeal and Housing are backed by Japanese Internet giant SoftBank.
Kothari joined Housing in November last year after Co-founder and then CEO Rahul Yadav was fired from the company following an altercation with the investors. The real estate startup was also facing a lot of issues, including huge marketing and hiring costs, which drew criticism from investors as well as the industry.
As the CEO of Housing, Kothari led the successful turnaround of the company from a position of distress to a market leader in one and a half years using organic and inorganic growth. Under his stewardship, its changed the business strategy and plan, hired a new experienced management team, restructured and reduced operating costs by 70 per cent going from 2,500 to 900 employees. During his stint, the startup also raised an additional US$20 million from SoftBank and achieved key operating results, such as increasing revenue by 400 per cent, customer visits by 200 to 4.1 million per month, and homes listed by 450 per cent to 630,000 homes.
Prior to joining Housing.com, Kothari was CEO and Vice Chairman of character-based entertainment company Valiant Entertainment.
Kothari holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School and has also been an investor.
Founded in February 2010, Snapdeal is the third largest online marketplace in India after Amazon and Flipkart. It currently lists 65 million-plus products across 1,000-plus categories from over 125,000 regional, national, and international brands and retailers. With millions of users and more than 300,000 sellers, Snapdeal delivers to over 6,000 cities and towns in India.
Its investors include SoftBank, BlackRock, Temasek, Foxconn, Alibaba, eBay, Premji Invest, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Ratan Tata.