High Attrition at e-commerce companies

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Monica Patra, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Along with 100% FDI in market place model forcing e-commerce companies forcing them to restructure, the latest big problem staring at India’s top internet companies is attrition, especially in their senior ranks. Top e-commerce companies, who have been aggressively recruiting top talent with the millions of dollars they have raised, are grappling with an exodus of management-level executives. E-commerce companies in India are growing so rapidly that they haven’t built the fundamental concept of retaining people, especially at the top-level.

At Flipkart, Srivals Kumar recently resigned as general counsel and head legal, the latest in a series of top-level exits at India’s largest e-commerce company this year.

While Flipkart was quick to replace him with Rajinder Sharma, former director and general counsel — South and West Asia, at Samsung, Kumar’s decision to quit Flipkart comes amid an organisational restructuring. At least four other senior executives have quit Flipkart this year, including Mekin Maheshwari as chief people officer; Ravi Vora as chief executive of strategic brands group; Amod Malviya as chief technology officer; and Sameer Nigam as engineering head.

But Flipkart has also been hiring a number of high-profile senior executives, such as former Google executive Punit Soni whom it appointed as its chief product officer.

At Zomato Durga Raghunath recently resigned as senior vice president-growth after a six-month stint to found an online publishing company, joining a list of senior executives who have quit the venture this year. Namita Gupta, former chief product officer, and Rameet Arora, former chief marketing officer, also quit recently, all having spent less than a year at the Gurgaon-based company.

At Ola Arvind Singhal recently quit as CEO of the company’s TaxiForSure unit, and Swaminathan Seetharaman resigned as vice-president for engineering.

A high attrition rate is not about the compensation that is being offered, but about the job satisfaction these employees don’t get. Companies can always get talent with a high pay package, but retaining them is a different ball game. Many of the top management at e-commerce companies quit to form their own companies.




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