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Business
11 Jul 2017

Flipkart may see the return of Bansals at the helm

Flipkart board may get regigged, post SoftBank funding

Rumors are afloat that with the proposed deal with SoftBank Group Corp, Flipkart will see the return of Sachin and Binny Bansal, co-founders of the company, to their former glory.

They will be given more prominent positions than what they currently hold. Flipkart always maintained that Bansals never went anywhere but the reality is far from it.

Here's all about it.

In context

Flipkart board may get regigged, post SoftBank funding
How are things changing?

Krishnamurthy

How are things changing?

No matter what the official statement says, it's pretty evident that since January 2017, Flipkart's largest investor Tiger Global Management and CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy were calling the shots.

However, things are changing now with Tencent Holdings, influenced by Naspers, coming in as a shareholder via investments in April fundraising.

Bansals need one more voice to bring back status quo.

SoftBank

The SoftBank factor

If SoftBank deal happens, the board will have five major investors - SoftBank, Naspers-Tencent, Tiger Global, early investor Accel and the Bansals.

Standing tall on $10 million investment, made in 2009, Tiger Global MD Lee Fixel commands an influential presence in Flipkart's board.

If SoftBank pitches in, it'd change, as they have a penchant for taking control in the firms they invest in.

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Getting back in the game

Flipkart

Getting back in the game

It was Fixel behind Krishnamurthy becoming Flipkart's new CEO. Binny Bansal got pushed into the role of group CEO after taking it over from Sachin Bansal. Sachin held onto his position as executive chairman.

Although, it was a corporate compulsion, letting go of the rein must not have been easy. Reportedly, both Sachin and Binny have now upped their involvement in Flipkart.

Changes

Plans are already in motion

Changes are already being felt. COO Nitin Seth left the firm in May. Krishnamurthy, who gave Seth Flipkart's logistics unit eKart and a few others operations to run, said that he left for personal reasons.

According to the buzz, Binny and Sachin Bansal were not pleased with Seth's performance. Binny took over corporate communications and Sachin, government relations from him weeks before his resignation.

How it's being played out

Business

How it's being played out

Krishnamurthy is still calling the shots, after all, it was under his guidance Flipkart managed to keep arch-rival Amazon at bay, show healthy numbers and get fresh capital infusion.

Bansals are maneuvering things to have a chief product officer and one senior leader in engineering, at the very least, on board.

While Krishnamurthy is business oriented, Bansals don't want to lose Flipkart's technology culture.

Founders

Things will fall in place

It's a delicate balance. In principle, Krishnamurthy, Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, and PhonePe chief Sameer Nigam report to Binny Bansal.

Krishnamurthy had an almost free rein in Flipkart matters during the first four months of becoming the CEO.

However, organizational structure leaves wiggle room for Flipkart founders to flex their muscles, which they have been doing for the past two months, according to reports.

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