SoftBank-Backed Snapdeal Says CFO to Leave Online Retailer

Snapdeal.com, the Indian web marketplace backed by billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Corp., said Chief Financial Officer Aakash Moondhra was set to leave to pursue other interests.

Moondhra, 41, who has been in the post since June 2012, will move into an advisory role, Snapdeal said in an e-mailed statement Monday. His departure will be the second by a senior executive of the company in recent weeks, with Chief Technology Officer Amitabh Misra leaving in February after a more than three-year stint.

“E-commerce is growing so rapidly in India. It’s normal for people to move from one place to another,” said Saloni Nangia, president at consultant Technopak Advisors Pvt. “Snapdeal is a high-profile company. It won’t have much difficulty in filling the gap.”

Snapdeal -- one of India’s three biggest e-commerce companies -- began as a coupon platform similar to Groupon Inc. when it was founded in February 2010, and later evolved into a marketplace for everything from underwear to smartphones. During Moondhra’s tenure, the New Delhi-based company raised about $1 billion from sources including SoftBank, Indian billionaire Azim Premji’s investment unit and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte.

Gartner Inc. projects India’s online sales will grow 70 percent to $6 billion this year. Competition among Flipkart.com, Amazon.com Inc. and Snapdeal has intensified as the companies received $3.6 billion in funds in the past 10 months. The money has been used to wage a price war, build warehouses, hire engineers and acquire startups.

Second Departure

Prior to Snapdeal, Moondhra previously worked at discount retailer V-Mart Retail Ltd., Bharti Retail Pvt. and Baring Private Equity. His exit comes as Snapdeal rival, the Bengaluru-based Flipkart, goes on a hiring spree for senior managers with expertise in mobile technology and software.

Last month, former Google Inc. executive Punit Soni joined the company as chief product officer. Re/code reported last week that Flipkart appointed another executive from the search giant, Peeyush Ranjan, as director of engineering. Flipkart also hired McKinsey & Co. director Saikiran Krishnamurthy as chief operating officer for its commerce division, which includes most day-to-day operations.

Snapdeal last week acquired payments provider Freecharge, while Flipkart last year bought apparel online retailer Myntra.com for about $330 million.

None of India’s major e-commerce companies are profitable. Losses for both Snapdeal and Flipkart more than doubled in the fiscal year that ended in March 2014. Snapdeal’s parent posted losses of 2.64 billion rupees ($42 million), while Flipkart’s two main entities lost 7.16 billion rupees, according to filings with India’s Registrar of Companies.

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