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Flipkart Hunts For A New CEO; Kalyan Krishnamurthy To Step Aside For A Day

Flipkart Hunts For A New CEO; Kalyan Krishnamurthy To Step Aside For A Day

When the Bansal duo started up Flipkart in September 2007, celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary must have been a distant dream. Well… it has come true now. As part of Flipkart’s ‘Big10’ celebrations, launched in March this year, the company is hosting an ingenious competition, called ‘Big10 CEO,’ for the employees (Flipsters) to win a chance to spearhead India’s largest ecommerce company for one day.

As part of the anniversary campaign, events have been planned throughout the year for all its stakeholders – from Flipsters to customers, partners, sellers etc. April 2017 is the month of Talent, in which Flipkart is celebrating its assorted talent pool through various competitions and recognitions.

In an email sent to employees across all locations in India, they have been asked to fill up a form explaining, “Why they can be a good CEO?” The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will get the chance to be in the shoes of Flipkart’s current CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy for a day.

Commenting on the initiative, Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our talented Flipsters to get a taste of what it means to be CEO of a large, innovative company like Flipkart. We have a talented pool of people leading high intensity teams who are helping us disrupt and innovate. Through the Big10 CEO for a day competition, we intend to gain some fresh perspective and insights, as well as make it a fun, engaging initiative for our people.”

As ‘CEO of the Day,’ the winner will take stock of the business, attend key stakeholder meetings, and hand out action points, with Kalyan accompanying him. The day will start with Kalyan personally greeting the winner over breakfast and introducing him to his team, followed by some power-packed meetings where the winner and Kalyan will confer action items, and discuss the approach towards issues at hand.

The last two years have been a roller-coaster ride for India’s ecommerce poster boy. However, for now, the scene seems stable with anniversary celebrations underway, stable leadership with CEO Krishnamurthy at the helm and an additional $1.4 Bn received in funding.

Interestingly, this initiative’s fresh approach could have a far-reaching impact with regard to diversity inclusion. As per undisclosed sources, the selection process will end today and, most probably, Flipkart is getting ready to appoint its first woman CEO through the contest. If that comes to pass, Flipkart will definitely break fresh ground in a largely male-dominated bastion, even if for a day!

Update: April 24, 2017 5:10 pm

Padmini Madarapakam Pagadala, an Associate Director at Flipkart, has been chosen as the winner of the Big 10 CEO For A Day contest. Kalyan himself tweeted the winner’s name along with a congratulatory picture and stated that he was ‘excited to hand over the reigns’ to Padmini for the day. The hashtag #CEOforADay was also used.