upGrad Ropes In Former DealShare Executive Venkatesh Tarakkad As CFO

upGrad Ropes In Former DealShare Executive Venkatesh Tarakkad As CFO

SUMMARY

Trakkad will take charge on March 1, 2024. Prior to this, he led Finance, Inventory, and strategic initiatives at DealShare

He will replace Rohit Agarwal who is currently leading finance operations in the company

Previously, Venkatesh has held leadership positions across notable brands like Ecom Express, TCNS Clothing, Siam Makro Thailand, Metro Cash & Carry, Coca-Cola and Ernst & Young

Mumbai-based edtech unicorn upgrad has roped in Venkatesh Tarakkad as its chief financial officer (CFO).

In his new role, Tarakkad will oversee upGrad’s domestic and global financial strategies, encompassing a broader spectrum of areas such as investor relations, business finance, corporate finance, enterprise/accounting controllership, financial planning and analysis, risk management, tax, and treasury functions, the company said in a statement.

Tarakkad will replace Rohit Agarwal who is currently leading the finance operations at upGrad. 

Prior joining to upGrad, Tarakkad led finance, inventory and strategic initiatives at DealShare. Besides, he has also worked with brands like Ecom Express, TCNS Clothing, Siam Makro Thailand, Metro Cash & Carry, Coca-Cola and Ernst & Young.

Founded in 2015 by Mayank Kumar, Ronnie Screwvala and Phalgun Kompalli, upGrad offers higher education courses and skilling programmes in collaboration with colleges and universities.

The startup has raised over $600 Mn to date and counts Temasek, International Finance Corporation and IIFL as among its marquee investors.

Kumar said, “Venkatesh is a seasoned enterprise leader, and his appointment marks a strategic leap forward in our growth journey, both in India and globally. We’ve laid a rock-solid business foundation so far, built and scaled our offerings, and as we strive for global leadership, his operational excellence will ensure a robust credit profile, end-to-end compliance, and transparent corporate and financial governance within the upGrad ecosystem.”

The appointment comes days after the edtech giant announced opening of its 100 offline counselling touch-points and learning centres over the next 12 months.

The startup also allocated a corpus of INR 100 Cr to open these learning centres, with a special focus on non-metros and smaller towns. 

Earlier this year, upGrad was reportedly in advanced discussion to take over US education firm Udacity and was seeking fundraising of up to $100 Mn to finance the deal.

Meanwhile, upGrad saw its net loss rise 76% to INR 1,141.5 Cr in FY23 from INR 648.2 Cr in the previous fiscal year. Its operating revenue nearly doubled year-on-year to INR 1,169.6 Cr in the year ended March 31, 2023.

It is pertinent to note that India’s edtech space is among the hardest hit sectors by the funding winter. This has forced many of these startups to resort to layoffs and even shutting many of their businesses.Indian edtech startups raised a whopping $4.8 Bn in 2021, but this number declined to $2.4 Bn in 2022 and a mere $267 Mn in 2023, as per Inc42 data.

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