We bring to you the latest edition of movers and shakers of the week in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Rishi Khiani has stepped down from day-to-day operations at Ant Farm, the digital innovation company that he founded in 2013. He will, however, continue to be a promoter shareholder in Ant Farm and its downstream companies. Cofounder Upen Roop Rai will lead Ant Farm.
“I founded Ant Farm back in 2013 when India had just seen a disruption in the startup space. The idea was to accelerate companies during their early-stage with an intensive hands-on approach backed by an experienced team in the given sector. It was a thrilling experience to build some great companies in the last eight years,” Khiani said.
Ant Farm is a studio incubator that builds businesses and scales up disruptive ideas. The company’s key investors include Bay Capital and angels such as Ravi Dhariwal, Radhakishan Damani and Sat Pal Khattar.
Here’s a look at the other important movers and shakers of the week
Asheesh Sharma Joins BYJU’S
BYJU’S has appointed Asheesh Sharma as head of JEE & NEET. In his new role, Sharma will focus on building and scaling up BYJU’S’ test prep offerings – JEE & NEET. He will be also leading and driving product development and growth across markets, which will further boost BYJU’S presence in the test prep segment.
As one of the core members and CEO of Resonance, Sharma comes with over two decades of experience in test prep coaching. He has been a physics professor for 14 years.
BYJU’S is an edtech startup which offers adaptive and engaging learning programs for students in classes 1 -12 (K-12) and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT and IAS. The company recently raised over $200 Mn from Tiger Global and General Atlantic to scale up the business and for further expansion
OYO Appoints Vijay Ghadge
OYO Hotels & Homes has appointed Vijay Ghadge as the chief business officer of its frontier business of India & South Asia.
At his new role, Ghadge will be responsible for driving sustainable growth for frontier business which comprises of OYO’s self-operated hotels — OYO Townhouse, Collection O, SilverKey, student housing and co-living and OYO Home businesses.
Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, OYO is a hospitality chain offering hotels, homes, vacation stays, coworking space etc. It claims to be operating 43K hotels with over 1 Mn rooms. The company was recently in headlines for the massive layoff spree which impacted over 3K of its 12K employees in India, with layoffs in its international markets like US, UK, China etc as well.
Gautam Bambawale Joins Ola
Ola has appointed Gautam Bambawale as senior advisor for corporate and international affairs. Bambawale is a retired bureaucrat and has played multiple diplomatic roles during his 34-year career with the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
In his new role, Bambawale will play a key role in advising Ola on its corporate affairs initiatives across India and the global markets in which it operates.
Founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola is a cab aggregating platform which claims to operate in over 250 cities across the world. The company recently forayed into London and has been claiming to see good traction.
MoneyTap Appoints Barindra Dutta
Fintech startup MoneyTap has appointed Barindra Dutta as director of data sciences. Dutta joins MoneyTap from Indiabulls, where he was the head of advanced analytics. Previously, he has worked at CLIX Capital Pvt Ltd as the head of data science and held multiple leadership positions at American Express and GE Capital. With this, he is bringing more than 15 years of experience in the consumer lending and analytics space.
Dutta is an Indian Statistical Institute and IIT Kharagpur alumnus, where he did a Masters in Computer Science and a Masters in Mathematics respectively.
MoneyTap is a consumer lending platform. It uses a credit line model for flexible borrowing up to INR 5 Lakh at interest rates starting 13% per year,
PayU Strengthens Leadership Team
PayU has appointed Sudhir Sehgal and Manas Mishra as the country head of enterprise business and chief product officer respectively.
At his new role, Sehgal will oversee the strategy, development, and distribution of PayU’s domestic and international payments for its enterprise merchant portfolio. He has 20+ years of experience across product and portfolio management, brand management, underwriting, sales, and distribution.
On the other hand, Mishra will be tasked with overseeing the formulation and execution of PayU India’s product strategy. Mishra has close to two decades of experience in ad tech, payments and consumer internet space, including his recent role as head of payment experience at Flipkart.
PayU is one of India’s leading online payments solutions provider. It offers advanced solutions to meet the digital payment needs of the Indian market. In 2019, the company saw major restructuring as leadership roles saw major changes after Amrish Rau, Shailaz Nag among others left the company.
Shubh Loans Appoints Venkatesh Madyastha
Shubh Loans has appointed Venkatesh Madyastha as the chief data scientist of the company. Madyastha has over 13 years of experience in research and data analysis. Before joining Shubh Loans, he was a principal data scientist with the data science R&D team at the Shell Technology Center, Bangalore, India.
Madyastha’s new role includes applying advanced algorithms to complex problems in real-time systems which would deliver concise, insightful analysis that can be put to operational use for better results. He will also drive the innovation and improvement of Shubh Loans product through cutting edge data-driven analysis.
Shubh Loans is a lending platform that is helping a growing number of salaried employees in getting a loan of up to five Lakhs with a long term EMI tenure.
Garage Society India Strengthens Leadership Team
Hong Kong-based coworking space operator has appointed Nishant Goyal as director of operations and Surabhi Verma as director of commerce in India.
Goyal has over 12 years of experience in managing business operations and meeting strategic growth objectives. He will be overseeing the management operations including accounts, business operations, facility management, IT, procurement, project management and overall human resources at Garage Society. Prior to this, he was with Electrotherm India Limited and has also worked with other similar organisations.
Verma brings over a decade’s experience in handling client ecosystems and driving business strategy. At Garage Society, she will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships, handling sales and initiating new value-add services for members. Surabhi is an Indian School of Business (ISB) graduate and joins Garage Society from WeWork. She has also worked with Zomato, KPMG and NowFloats in the past.
Garage Society is an Asia based coworking space operator established in 2014 with its first workspace in Hong Kong.
ZEE Appoints Prathyusha Agarwal
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL), the leading media & entertainment company, has appointed Prathyusha Agarwal as the chief consumer officer of the domestic broadcast business. In this new role, Agarwal will continue to report to Punit Misra, CEO of domestic broadcast business of ZEEL.
At the new role, Agarwal will aim to reshape the conventional thinking of the marketing and strategy & insights functions to create a more holistic approach to listening and communicating with consumers and help content teams with insights that bring better content.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) is a worldwide media brand offering entertainment content to diverse audiences. It claims to have presence in over 173 countries and a reach of more than 1.3 Bn people around the globe.
Avataar.Me Appoints Mayank Tiwari
Avataar.Me has appointed Mayank Tiwari as a partner and its chief business officer – becoming one of the three firm partners. Leading on-ground teams in San Fransico and Delhi, Tiwari will be responsible for leading the expansion of the global business footprint, its customer growth strategy.
He will focus on global business development and enterprise sales, market activation and brand building platform. Tiwari brings two decades of experience at Avataar.Me.
Avataar.Me is a 3D AR/AI platform powering digital marketing and commerce leaders globally.
Rajiv Upadhyay Joins Acuver
Acuver Consulting has onboarded retail-tech professional Rajiv Upadhyay as managing partner. In this role, Upadhyay will drive and sustain growth for the supply chain execution company.
He will lead market engagements with a strategic focus on identifying and mobilising avenues for new business growth. His primary responsibilities cover exemplifying customer relations for new as well as existing clientele, strengthening industry liaisons and recruitment of top-line talent.
Acuver Consulting helps companies optimise their supply-chain for enhanced efficiency, profitability and customer experience.
Lendingkart Appoints Abhishek Singh
Lendingkart has appointed Abhishek Singh as chief analytics officer (CAO). With extensive industry experience, Singh claims to possess a vast knowledge of the current trends in technology and how-to better customer engagement and experience by leveraging advanced technologies.
At his new role, Singh’s proficiency in research analytics will propel Lendingkart’s growth. Singh comes with an experience of over 19 years and joins Lendingkart from Infinitxps where he served as a cofounder and a partner.
Lendingkart Group is a fintech startup which provides short term working capital loans to MSME borrowers under Lendingkart Finance Limited – a non-deposit taking NBFC arm of Lendingkart Group.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Movers and Shakers of the week!