Former Walmart India president Raj Jain (pictured) will now be heading the retail operations of Bharti Enterprises.
Bharti Retail had roped in Jain as its group advisor after the company split with world’s top retailer Walmart last year, but on Friday the company appointed him as the CEO.
Jain will report to Rajan Bharti Mittal, vice-chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprises.
In fact, Jain will not be the first former Walmart India official to join Bharti Group.
Pankaj Madan, former CFO of Walmart India who was suspended in 2012 after an internal anti-corruption inquiry has been appointed as the CFO of Bharti Retail.
Madan had earlier joined Bharti Airtel’s global finance team after suspension from Walmart India.
Mittal said, “Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and we are delighted to have Raj and Pankaj on board. I am confident that their rich experience and insights into the retail business will add immense value to company’s growth plans.”
In October last year, Bharti and Walmart had ended its six-year-old partnership in wholesale operations and had decided to operate independently. Since Walmart was providing back-end support to Easyday stores, run by Bharti Retail, building and strengthening back-end is going to be on top of the new CEO’s agenda.
Apart from this attaining profitability will be another challenge for the new CEO, say retail experts.
Bharti Retail runs Easyday that currently operates 212 stores in neighbourhood and compact hypermarket formats.