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Sachin Bansal's Navi appoints Meesho founder Vidit Aatrey as independent director

Meesho competes with Flipkart, which Bansal had founded in 2009. Navi has made a total of four new appontments on its board.

May 12, 2022 / 02:49 PM IST
Vidit Aatrey, Founder & CEO, Meesho

Vidit Aatrey, Founder & CEO, Meesho

Sachin Bansal-led Navi has appointed Vidit Aatrey, the founder of social commerce platform Meesho, as an independent director on its board.

Overall, the company has four independent directors on its board, including Aatrey.

"With Mr. Aatrey’s appointment, independent directors now form a majority on Navi’s Board. Navi had recently also appointed three other independent directors - namely, Mr Abhijit Bose, Mr Shripad Shrikrishna Nadkarni, and Ms Usha A Narayanan," Navi said in a statement.

Sachin Bansal had founded Flipkart in 2007 with Binny Bansal. The founders exited the company in 2018, and Flipkart was acquired by Walmart in the same year for $16 billion. Meesho competes with Flipkart, especially in the Tier-II and III markets.

Moneycontrol had reported in November 2021 that Softbank-backed Meesho's rapid expansion and quality of execution had taken Flipkart by surprise, opening up a new battlefront in the e-commerce space in India.

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With this appointment, Navi’s Board now comprises of seven members and will have majority representation from independent directors. The other board members include Bansal, co-founders Ankit Agarwal and former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Anand Sinha, the former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Bansal said in a statement “I am pleased to welcome Bobby (Abhijit), Shripad, Usha and, most recently, Vidit to our Board. They each bring a unique perspective and I believe they will add significant strategic value to Navi as we continue to grow. These appointments  further reinforce our commitment to setting high standards in corporate governance.”

Among the other independent directors, Abhijit Bose is the Head of India for WhatsApp. Shripad Nadkarni has decades of experience in India’s consumer, pharmaceuticals, food & beverage and consulting industries. In the past, he has been associated with Coca-Cola India and Johnson & Johnson Private for a combined period of 16 years and last held the position of Vice President- Marketing.

Usha A Narayanan is already a part of the Navi group as an Independent Director for other group entities such as a Navi Finserv, Navi General Insurance & Chaitanya India Fin Credit.

Navi filed draft papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in March this year. The company's businesses include lending, general insurance, mutual funds, and microfinance.

The company's plans to go public had come amid uncertainty over its Universal Banking licence application.

In an interview with Moneycontrol dated September 2, 2021, Sachin Bansal had said he compares Navi (short for ‘navigator’) to banks and NBFCs.

“We are trying to work backwards and see what a bank for a billion people looks like. It has to be a lot more automated, things have to be a lot more simple, users should be able to help themselves. Banking should be as easy as going on Swiggy and ordering food,” he said.​

In the first nine months of FY22, the company registered a loss of Rs 206 crore with revenues of Rs 719 crore.

The company plans to invest the proceeds of its Rs 3,350 crore planned IPO in Navi Finserv and General Insurance.



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Priyanka Iyer
first published: May 12, 2022 02:49 pm
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