US online retail giant Amazon’s India focus has intensified following the announcement of its rival Walmart acquiring a majority stake in Flipkart. Amazon itself tried making an attempt at offering to buy the stakes in its Indian competitor, but the collective sense within the Flipkart Boars was to go with the Walmart offer. The deal is still to be receive the mandatory clearance from the Government of India, but it is as good as done and dusted.
Whether it is a fallout of this development or not, Amazon is set to appoint a senior professional from outside as its leader for the Indian operations. The individual rumored to join Amazon India is said to be Ravi Venkatesan, who resigned as an Independent Director of Infosys, where he had earlier been a Co-Chairman.
None of the entities involved has confirmed or denied this development. The other information being given is that Amit Agarwal, who is spearheading the Indian operations so far, is being accommodated in a senior position at the global level at Amazon.
Ravi Venkatesan has had a successful stint as Chairman of Microsoft India, where his stewardship saw the company’s performance in the Indian operations grow phenomenally and he was instrumental in taking it to the second place overall in the country-wise list of sales achieved by Microsoft.
He has held many other positions, including Non-executive Chairman of Bank of Baroda, Chairman of Cummins India, on the Boards of top companies like Thermax, Harvard Business School, Bunge and Volvo.
When the news trickled in of his quitting the Infosys Board and it was mentioned that he would be pursuing new opportunities, there also rumours that he was in talks with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a role, though the exact role was not clear. The sources also indicate that Ravi has had a few rounds of discussions with Amazon already.