Snapdeal loses yet another long-timer as Grabbon co-founder Tony Navin quits

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Tony Navin

Tony Navin, Snapdeal’s head of partnerships and strategic initiatives and one of its oldest employees, has quit the company, a national daily reported on Thursday. Navin’s exit comes just three days after the home-grown e-commerce company’s head of corporate development Abhishek Kumar and senior vice president Sandeep Komaravelly resigned.

Navin had joined Snapdeal as head of business development in July 2010, when the e-commerce firm acquired Grabbon, a group-buying startup he founded a year earlier. He had worked with KPMG and Infosys in the past. Navin was made head of partnerships and strategic initiatives in a top-level reshuffle last year.

An email sent to Snapdeal seeking confirmation on the development and details on Navin’s replacement did not elicit an immediate response. The news was first reported by The Times of India.

Interestingly, Komaravelly, who quit the company early this week, had co-founded Grabbon with Navin. Komaravelly was heading mobile-based marketplace Shopo, which Snapdeal is shutting down on February 10. “…we realise that it will take some more years for a broader ecosystem to develop around the C2C segment,” a post on the Shopo blog had said.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Komaravelly has now joined Oben General Insurance Ltd. as chief marketing officer.

Snapdeal’s head of corporate development Abhishek Kumar, who oversaw the $400-million acquisition of mobile wallet company FreeCharge in 2015, also quit the firm early this week. Kumar was responsible, along with founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, for raising funds for the company. Former Housing CEO Jason Kothari, who joined Snapdeal as chief strategy and investment officer last month, will be taking over Kumar’s responsibilities.

In November last year, Vijay Ghadge, chief operating officer at Snapdeal’s in-house logistics arm Vulcan Express Pvt Ltd, had quit barely four months after joining the firm.

Recent media reports suggest that the company is in talks with its investor Softbank Group Corp for raising fresh funds at a lower valuation, ranging between $3 billion and $4 billion. However, co-founder Kunal Bahl said in an interview on Monday that the e-commerce firm is looking to turn profitable in the next two years and it doesn’t need to raise funds unless it decides to make an acquisition.

However, losses at Snapdeal more than doubled to Rs 2,960 crore (around $436 million) for the financial year ended March 2016. The firm’s consolidated loss widened to Rs 3,315 crore from Rs 1,328 crore in 2014-15.

Snapdeal’s rival Flipkart has also seen senior-level exits recently at both the flagship marketplace as well as subsidiary online fashion retailer Myntra. Just last week, Myntra’s supply chain head and senior vice president Rajul Jain, who was one of the cofounders of lifestyle e-tailer Yebhi.com, quit the firm.

Apart from CXO-level exits—Flipkart saw its chief product officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer and chief business officer quit last year—the company has seen a strong churn in the second layer of leadership as well. There has also been a slew of exits at the senior vice president and vice president level.