Flipkart has made several changes to its board of directors, including the appointment of group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as a director, as the Indian unit of Walmart Inc. prepares for an initial stock sale to capitalize on the boom in online sales. which increased the ratings.
Keki Mistry, vice president and chief executive officer of Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC) mortgage lender; Suresh Kumar, Walmart’s chief technology officer; and Leigh Hopkins, executive vice president of strategy and development at Walmart International, will join the board of Flipkart.
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The new appointments come just days after Flipkart PhonePe’s digital payments unit was separated from the parent as part of the steps to make Flipkart public. The pandemic has led to millions of new customers, most of them from small towns and cities, to purchase goods from online platforms for the first time, boosting sales and ratings for e-commerce companies.
In an email this week, Krishnamurthy told staff that the new board members will replace Steuart Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam; Dirk Van den Berghe, executive vice president of Walmart Asia; Makemytrip co-founder Rajesh Magow and Rohit Bhagat, joined the board of PhonePe as president.
While Berghe retires in March, the other three resign. Magow will take on an advisory role.
“I also wanted to let you know that this new year will see some changes in our board of directors as some of our current directors will step down after guiding us through the first two years following the Walmart investment,” Krishnamurthy said in his email. a copy of which has been revised by Mint.
In 2018, Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart for $ 16 billion, valuing the Indian company at $ 21 billion. At the time, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion said he wanted to make Flipkart public as early as four years after the acquisition closed. Steuart Walton had joined the board following Walmart’s investment.
“Steuart combined his Flipkart duties with those of being a director of Walmart, and stepped down from the Flipkart board of directors in order to focus more on these, including his role as chairman of Walmart’s technical board, the which means he will continue to be an active sponsor for Flipkart, “Krishnamurthy said.
The other member of Flipkart’s current board is co-founder Binny Bansal, who has also joined the board of PhonePe, which has co-founders Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Rohit Bhagat.
Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, hired Goldman Sachs to explore an initial sale of Flipkart stock in the US to raise about $ 10 billion by selling about 25% in India’s largest online retailer, Mint reported earlier. Of this month.
The proposed listing could take place as early as next year in the wake of the rapid digital transformation that has been further accelerated by covid, Mint reported in September.
In July, Walmart led a $ 1.2 billion investment in Flipkart Group, valuing the company at around $ 25 billion, in its largest fundraiser since its acquisition in 2018.
Walmart now owns an 82.3% stake in Flipkart, with US hedge fund Tiger Management, China’s Tencent, Accel Partners and Microsoft Corp., among other key investors.
The IPO will offer minority investors the opportunity to sell or reduce their holdings. “Even if the board review has no immediate connection to the planned IPO, it is a good time to build a new board well in advance of the listing,” said one in the know.
Flipkart, based in Bengaluru, competes with Amazon India and Reliance Industries, which is increasing its JioMart e-commerce business.