ZopNow, a Bangalore-based online grocery startup, has announced that its CEO Mukesh Singh has stepped down. He will be replaced by Raj Pandey, the former JP Morgan executive director.
As said in a letter to the employees, Mukesh Singh, the company’s co-founder and former CEO, will now work on the tech-related operations of the company, while Pandey will focus on investor relations and marketing.
The letter also revealed that ZopNow board members and mentors were demanding to hire a full time CEO for the company.
Talking about the development, Mukesh said, “Sometime back, a couple of mentors and board members did ask me to hire a full time CEO for ZopNow. I struggled to answer the question – Why?. As a founder – I had the commitment towards the company and I struggled to find the answer as to why do we need a CEO. Over the last 4.5 years; I have worked hard to get a lot of basics right for ZopNow which eventually boiled down to “Predictable Inventory at Predictable Time”. However, for the kid to go to the next level, it needs to be admitted to a good school with a great principal.”
This realisation compelled Mukesh to step down from his position and bring in Raj. “Having served as a strategic advisor to management teams and boards of corporates across the globe, Raj brings a wealth of knowledge, relationships and negotiation skills that will be instrumental in propelling the next phase of our growth,” said Mukesh Singh.
He further added, “While Raj may not know a whole lot about groceries, he is very well versed in the technology space and knows a lot about transaction processing companies and what investors focus on – more than most of us. He needs to learn the tricks of the trade as a grocer from us and we need to learn from him the process of running an efficient company, negotiating deals with global corporates, taking it public and running a public company.”
ZopNow was founded in 2011 by IIT Kanpur alumni Mukesh Singh and Bal Krishn Birla. Birla, who is no longer part of the company since 2013, in a blogpost had claimed that he was wrongly ousted from the company.
ZopNow had pivoted from managing own inventory to sourcing supplies from supermarket chain HyperCity in 2014. Once an order is placed on the website, the company’s runner executives in the store picks/packs and delivers the goods in less than three hours to the customer.
According to India Brand Equity Foundation, food and grocery made up 69% of India’s $490 Bn retail sector in 2013. In another, survey conducted by AT Kearney, about 52% of the respondents in India had bought groceries online, while the global average is 42%.
The development was first reported by VCCircle.