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Big Shakeup At India’s Amazon Rival

The logo of India's largest online marketplace Flipkart is seen on a building in BengaluruThe logo of India's largest online marketplace Flipkart is seen on a building in Bengaluru

India’s leading e-commerce company Flipkart has named a new chief executive in a restructuring exercise that moves its current CEO into a broader strategic role to counter competition from rivals such as Amazon’s Indian operation.

Flipkart’s Myntra fashion portal bought rival Jabong for $70 million last year to create India’s largest online fashion retailer and, with India’s e-commerce market forecast to grow to $188 billion over the next decade, the group now plans to expand into furniture and groceries.

Senior executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy will replace co-founder Binny Bansal as CEO, with Bansal taking the reins of the newly formed Flipkart Group to focus on strategy and mergers and acquisitions, the company said in a statement late on Monday.

The company said the new structure will help the group to build a portfolio of value-creating businesses and that Binny will oversee capital allocation across all group companies and CEO selection.

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Flipkart’s restructuring also comes against the backdrop of a highly competitive market in which participants are forced to offer steep discounts, which has raised concerns about profitability and weighed on sector valuations.

Launched by two former Amazon employees in 2007, Flipkart’s current investors include Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners.