We bring to you the latest edition of movers and shakers of the week in the Indian startup ecosystem.
This week, Bengaluru police arrested 30 people alleged for drug trafficking in the city, which included delivery boys from hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo and bike taxi aggregator Rapido. It is said that two people working in these startups have been booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
According to media reports, the police have seized drugs worth INR 2.2 Cr, including 235 kg marijuana, 1,100 strips of LSD, 980 ecstasy tablets and 450 gm of MDMA crystals. Further, the report stated that the drug trafficking network was mainly supplying the student community in the city.
The Additional Commissioner of Police (East), Bengaluru City, S Murugan told Inc42 that the delivery workers were often lured by drug peddlers with lucrative deals. While workers with delivery startups get anywhere between INR 30-40 per delivery, the drug traffickers offer these workers around INR 500 for making one such delivery, he added.
A Rapido spokesperson said, “The alleged driver in question was disqualified from Rapido since February 2020 for complaints on fake rides. Rapido condemns the act and will ensure complete cooperation with the authorities in this regard.” The spokesperson added that Rapido wasn’t questioned by the police in the case.
Here’s a look at the other important movers and shakers of the week:
BIRA 91 Appoints Anil Arya
Alcoholic beverage startup BIRA 91 recently announced the appointment of Anil Arya as the CFO and Senior Vice President, Finance. With his career spanning over two decades, Anil has worked across consumer goods companies like ABInBev India, SAB Miller (now ABInBev), Procter & Gamble, Pernod Ricard and Coca-Cola.
With BIRA 91, Arya is said to help the company in navigating through the next phase of growth and help the company scale.
BIRA 91 is a craft beer brand manufactured by B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. It was launched in 2015. The company was founded by Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur who moved from India to the US in 1998. It has been growing at a strong double digit growth rate over the last few years. It doubled its volume last year and consumer spend on the brand exceeded the $100 million mark in FY20.
Madhu Shalini Iyer Joins Rocketship.vc
Rocketship.vc, a global venture capitalist firm has appointed Madhu Shalini Iyer as partner. In her current role, Iyer will accelerate the company’s strategies in India and Southeast regions.
With over 15 years of experience in data science, investing and leading high growth organisations in Silicon Valley and Asia, her familiarity with emerging markets and developing economies is expected to bring more value to the investment strategies.
She holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Sydney.
Earlier, Shalini Iyer was working as the chief data officer at EthosLending, a fintech startup in San Francisco. She also previously served as the chief data officer at Gojek, a Southeast Asian on-demand multi–service platform and digital payment technology that is also Indonesia’s first unicorn.
Wavemaker Makes Key Leadership Changes
In a major rejig, Wavemaker India has announced changes in executive leadership roles.
Kishan Kumar MS is elevated and has taken on a larger role as chief growth officer, Wavemaker India. Along with his new mandate, Kumar continues to lead Wavemaker South businesses across Bangalore, Chennai, Kerala and Hyderabad. He has been with Wavemaker for the last 14 years and has played an instrumental role in building Wavemaker as one of the biggest media agencies in South India.
Premjeet Sodhi changes into chief strategy officer, Wavemaker India from his earlier profile of Chief Growth Officer. Sodhi joined Wavemaker in April this year after a 2-year stint with Mindshare Fulcrum as the agency head. He has rich experience of over 25 years spanning across many leading agencies where he has managed clients like Amazon, Reckitt, Kraft Heinz, Infoedge and many more.
Vishal Jacob comes back to Wavemaker India as chief digital officer after close to two years with GroupM as principal consultant – Change Planning & Transformation.
He has been in the GroupM ecosystem for over 14 years and has played a key role in anchoring the digital initiatives at Wavemaker and GroupM.
Sandeep Pandey, who leads Product and Strategy has been elevated as global head of Analytics where he will be driving Wavemaker’s global practice on analytics. Pandey has been with GroupM for the last 15 years in leadership positions across APAC markets.He has served clients in automotive, pharma, banking, consumer goods, food & beverages, technology and other industries across India, Singapore, Australia, China, Malaysia, Japan and other key markets in Asia Pacific.